17 States Fight in Court for Arizona Abortion Ban Protecting Unborn Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 26, 2023   |   2:26PM   |   Phoenix, Arizona

Attorneys general from 17 states came to the aid of unborn babies this week by urging the Arizona Supreme Court to unblock a state pro-life law.

Arkansas Advocate reports Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin led the brief, joined by 16 other states, that calls on the court to allow the abortion ban to go back into effect.

“One year after the Supreme Court of the United States decided that states may regulate or ban abortion, Planned Parenthood is still asking courts to thwart the law and block democratically enacted abortion laws and regulations,” Griffin said in a statement.

He and the 16 other state attorneys general said the court should allow Arizona to enforce its elective abortion ban and protect unborn babies’ lives. Joining him were Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

The 1864 Arizona law prohibits the killing of unborn babies in abortions except if the mother’s life is at risk. Abortionists who provide, supply or administer abortions, abortion drugs or abortion devices to women for the purpose of killing an unborn baby can face two to five years in prison.

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If enforced, the law has the potential to save as many as 36 babies from abortion every day.

Last summer, the abortion ban went into effect temporarily after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, but the Planned Parenthood abortion chain sued and Arizona courts blocked the legislation in October.

Then, in December, an appeals court decided that the abortion ban conflicts with a newer law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks. As a result, unborn babies can be aborted for any reason up to 15 weeks right now.

But state lawmakers, pro-life advocates, doctors and leaders of other states are urging the Arizona Supreme Court to reverse the ruling.

In March, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, an obstetrician and medical director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Arizona, filed a petition asking that the appeals court decision be overturned and the law reinstated.

“Pro-life laws like the one in Arizona not only help protect the lives of countless innocent, unborn children, but they also protect the dignity and health of women by providing real support during a difficult time. Arizona is eager to preserve the innocent lives of children and restore dignity to women and the medical profession,” said Denise Harle, senior counsel and director of the ADF Center for Life.

Harle said Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, refuses to defend the state pro-life law, so other parties are fighting to protect unborn babies and mothers instead.

Since the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling in June 2022, 19 states now protect unborn babies by banning or limiting abortions, and more are fighting in court to do so. New research from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America estimates roughly 60,000 unborn babies have been saved from abortion since the ruling.