An appeals court overturned a trial judge’s decision to uphold Arizona’s 1901 prohibition on almost all abortions on Friday, preventing the state from enforcing the abortion ban for the time being.
The Pima County Superior Court’s decision on September 23 to lift the injunction on the ban was granted an emergency stay by the Arizona Court of Appeals, per Planned Parenthood’s request. The abortion rights organization “demonstrated a significant possibility of success,” according to the appeals court, in its attempt to overturn that judgment.
“The court further concludes the balance of hardships weigh strongly in favor of granting the stay, given the acute need of healthcare providers, prosecuting agencies, and the public for legal clarity as to the application of our criminal laws,” presiding Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote on Friday, as cited by Reuters.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade law and uphold the constitutional right to an abortion, more than half of the 50 U.S. states are likely to attempt to restrict abortions or have already done so, igniting a nationwide legal battle.
Arizona’s Republican attorney general asked to lift the injunction that prevented the state’s pre-statehood restriction from being enforced, and Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson approved her request.
The judgment by the appeals court “brings temporary reprieve to Arizonans,” according to a statement from Planned Parenthood, and would enable the organization to resume providing abortion care services while the legal process is ongoing.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona’s office stated that it will “seriously analyze” the court’s Friday decision before deciding what to do next.
The verdict on Friday was praised by the Democratic Party as a “temporary relief.”
Republican Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona was urged to summon a special session to abolish the whole prohibition by Democrats in the state legislature.
Since Roe v. Wade was reversed and other states started implementing abortion prohibitions, Democrats have been anxious to portray Republicans as being extremely conservative on the topic of abortion.
Democratic Party control of the House of Representatives and the Senate are in jeopardy in the midterm elections in November, and the party is growing more optimistic that the Supreme Court ruling will increase voter support.