Arizona is home to one of the most contentious abortion laws in the U.S.
Soon tens of millions of sports fans will be turning their attention to the state for Super Bowl LVII, to be played on Sunday, Reuters reports.
It has escalated some of the actions taken by anti-abortion groups and individuals.
One anti-abortion individual climbed the tallest building in the state, scaling the 40-story Chase Tower in downtown Phoenix.
Rescue workers met Maison Des Champs, who calls himself the “Pro-Life Spider-Man,” on the roof of the state’s tallest building moments after he reached the top.
Many abortion activists have rolled their eyes at the stunt and criticized that it is a man trying to control what it is women do with their bodies.
The abortion issue has become one of the defining fault lines in U.S. politics and society, especially after the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling last year that ended the constitutional right to abortion.
Arizona is home to many Republican anti-abortion politicians.
After Roe was overturned in June, anti-abortion politicians in Arizona pushed to restore a Civil War-era total abortion ban that had not been in effect for decades. The same politicians had already passed a 15-week ban earlier that year.
In December, a court reconciled the two laws, allowing doctors to provide abortions up to 15 weeks. This means Arizona’s abortion laws are stricter today than they were before Roe was overturned. And stricter than most states in the U.S.
At the end of last year, an Arizona court ruled that abortion doctors cannot be prosecuted under a pre-statehood law that criminalizes nearly all abortions yet was barred from being enforced for decades, NPR reported.
But the Arizona Court of Appeals on Friday declined to repeal the 1864 law, which carries a sentence of two to five years in prison for anyone who assists in abortion and provides no exceptions for rape or incest.
The court said doctors can’t be prosecuted for performing abortions because other Arizona laws passed over the years allow them to perform the procedure, though non-doctors are still subject to be charged under the old law.