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Joe Biden Decries Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Upholding 1864 Law Limiting Nearly All Abortions

  President Joe Biden is blaming the “extreme agenda” of Republicans for a Tuesday   ruling   from the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an 18...

 President Joe Biden is blaming the “extreme agenda” of Republicans for a Tuesday ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an 1864 law that limits nearly all abortions.

“Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women, even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest,” Biden said in a statement following the ruling.

“This cruel ban was first enacted in 1864—more than 150 years ago, before Arizona was even a state and well before women had secured the right to vote. This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom,” he continued. “Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose. We will continue to fight to protect reproductive rights and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state.” 

The 1864 law bars all abortions except to save the life of the mother and also carries a sentence of two to five years for abortionists. Justices heard arguments in the case, Planned Parenthood of Arizona v. Mayes/Hazerigg, in December, and were asked to answer whether Arizona’s 15-week abortion limit passed in March of 2022 overrides the older law.

While the court did not rule on the constitutionality of the 1864 law, the court issued a 4-2 decision with one recusal on Tuesday finding that the 1864 law is “enforceable” over the newer 15-week limit.

“We consider whether the Arizona Legislature repealed or otherwise restricted [the old law] by enacting…the statute proscribing physicians from performing elective abortions after fifteen weeks’ gestation,” Justice John Lopez wrote for the majority opinion. “This case involves statutory interpretation—it does not rest on the justices’ morals or public policy views regarding abortion; nor does it rest on [the old law’s] constitutionality, which is not before us.”

“Absent the federal constitutional abortion right, and because [the fifteen-week limit] does not independently authorize abortion, there is no provision in federal or state law prohibiting [the 1864 law’s] operation. Accordingly, [the 1864 law] is now enforceable,” Lopez continued.

The Arizona Supreme Court ultimately affirmed a lower court’s decision vacating an injunction against the near-total ban, but stayed the total enforcement of the law for 14 days to allow for parties to decide how to pursue further action. The state’s high court also remanded the case to trial court for potential consideration of remaining constitutional challenges.

Vice President Kamala Harris — the Biden reelection campaign’s designated abortion hype-woman — is also scheduled to appear at a “reproductive freedom” event in Tucson on Friday in response to the ruling.

Harris is returning to Arizona after appearing in Phoenix in early March as a part of her pro-abortion tour around the United States ahead of the November presidential election, according to the report. During the tour, Harris decried Arizona’s previous 15-week abortion limit passed in 2022 and called pro-life advocates “extremists.” 

The state supreme court decision comes as pro-abortion activists are moving forward with a proposed amendment that would create a constitutional right to abortion in Arizona.

Arizona for Abortion Access — a coalition of groups including ACLU of Arizona, Affirm Sexual and Reproductive Health, Arizona List, Healthcare Rising Arizona, NARAL Arizona, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona — said last week that they had amassed more than 500,000 signatures, well past the 383,923 required for the proposed amendment to qualify for the ballot in November. If the abortion measure makes it on the November ballot, it would need a simple majority to pass.

Arizona is one of nearly a dozen states where pro-abortion activists are working to codify the right to kill the unborn.

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