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Ariz. attorney general wants California to be ‘safe haven’ for abortion providers after state Supreme Court ruling

By 37ci3 Apr13,2024

PHOENIX – Arizona’s attorney general says he will do what he can to soften the effects of the Civil War-era abortion ban that the state Supreme Court ruled to take effect this week.

Attorney General Chris Mayes, a Democrat, told NBC News on Thursday that his office is working to stop prosecuting abortionists and patients and help Arizona doctors obtain licenses in other states after the court ruled in favor of 1864. Total abortion ban on Tuesday.

“I completely understand the fear that doctors, pharmacists and nurses are going through right now knowing that we are fighting against the potential implementation of the 1864 ban,” Mayes said. “That’s why I’m working with other states on ways for them to travel to those states to practice medicine in the near future. One of my visions is that we could potentially find a safe haven for our doctors, nurses and abortion providers in California.

In 1864, an Arizona law banned abortions from the moment of conception except to save the woman’s life. It made it a crime punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs an abortion or assists a person to perform an abortion. Tuesday’s ruling effectively overturns a lower court’s ruling that the last 15-week ban invalidated the law.

On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court said it would delay its decision for 14 days so the lower court could consider “additional constitutional challenges.” Reproductive rights advocates can appeal the decision within a two-week window. Meanwhile, a separate, ongoing suit would allow abortion providers to continue their services from the 15th week of pregnancy through the end of May.

Shortly after the decision, Mayes announced “As long as I am Attorney General, no woman or doctor in this state will be prosecuted for this cruel law.”

He said on Thursday: “I am chosen for this moment. It’s about freedom and our ability to control our own bodies. And that’s why we will do whatever it takes to achieve that.”

Dr. Acacia Women’s Center in Phoenix. Abortion providers like Ronald Younis said that while he appreciated Mayes’ promise, doctors like him would not be legally allowed to treat patients without fear of arrest. “It’s still against the law,” Younis said. “If it’s illegal, I can’t have an abortion.”

Asked about those concerns on Thursday, Mayes said his office would use the 45 days to fight the ban, so it would never be implemented. She said she will work with Arizona providers to obtain licenses to provide respite care in California until voters vote this fall on a ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution.

“I understand a doctor saying, ‘I can’t do this, I have to support my family, I don’t want to lose my license, I don’t want to go to prison for two to five years.’ Mayes admitted. “My message to them is that as Arizona’s attorney general, I will do everything in my power to fight for you.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said He said his state is “committed to helping Arizonans access reproductive health care.” In a statement from his office, spokesman Brandon Richards said California has been preparing for an influx of patients needing reproductive health care from the start. Roe v. Wade exceeded.

“We are also working in close coordination with the Arizona Governor’s Office to ensure that Arizonans know that California has their backs and that our state has resources if they need care,” the statement said.

Tuesday’s decision is the latest setback for abortion rights since the Supreme Court in 2022. Roe v. Wade overturned his convictionwhich provides a constitutional right to abortion. About half of the states in front of the decision they said they would limit it Roe v. Abortion possibility when Wade is shot. Since then, about two dozen abortions have been banned or access is severely restricted, causing a wave of legal challenges in the states. Arizona reproductive rights groups and advocates staged statewide protests following the ruling as abortion providers wrestle with how to proceed.

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By 37ci3

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