AZ Supreme Court grants request to delay enforcement of 1864 abortion law for 90 days

 May 15, 2024

The abortion fight is still raging in Arizona in the wake of the state's high court allowing the enforcement of an 1864 abortion law that virtually bans the practice with few exceptions.

According to NBC News, in the wake of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signing a repeal of the law earlier this month, the new measure will not take effect until 90 days after the state ends its legislative session, pushing the repeal to much later in the year.

That means that the law could be enforced for a temporary frame of time, but top state Democrats have worked overtime to ensure that doesn't happen.

The Arizona Supreme Court earlier this week granted Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes’ request to delay the enforcement of the law for at least 90 days, obviously to match up closer to when the repeal will take effect.

Mayes released a statement in the wake of the temporary victory.

"I am grateful that the Arizona Supreme Court has stayed enforcement of the 1864 law and granted our motion to stay the mandate in this case for another 90 days," her statement read.

Mayes also hinted that if need be, she would take the matter to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The original enforcement date of the abortion ban would have began on June 27. The latest state Supreme Court ruling has pushed it back to Sept. 26, buying some time, but perhaps not enough.

NBC News noted:

The enforcement date hinges heavily on when the state's legislative session ends. Last year, it wrapped up July 31. If legislators were to keep to that timeline, the ban could be enforceable for about a month — from Sept. 26 until late October — under the new projections. But it’s still unclear when this year's session will end.

The 1864 law caused an uproar in the ranks of the "reproductive rights" groups, who have worked overtime to attempt to get a measure on the ballot for November that would enshrine abortion rights for Arizona residents.

Even with the 1864 law up in the air, the state still operates under a strict set of abortion laws, which the aforementioned groups are still raging about, especially as it does not allow exceptions for rape or incest.

"With this order, Arizonans are still subjected to another extreme ban, one that punishes patients experiencing pregnancy complications and survivors of rape and incest," an abortion rights organization leader said.

With abortion a political hot topic for the November election, it'll be interesting to see what happens to the law after it goes through the legal system, possibly at all available levels.