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Doctor, ACLU file lawsuit to restore abortion rights in Arizona

Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 4:52pm
Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 7:54pm
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Another lawsuit is attempting to restore abortion access in Arizona. A Phoenix doctor, the Arizona Medical Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights are suing the state over a near-total ban on abortions that was recently reinstated.

A Pima County Superior Court judge last month ruled that Arizona’s Civil War-era ban on almost all abortions could go back into effect. Planned Parenthood Arizona is already appealing that ruling. 

But plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court say questions about the legality of abortion in Arizona remain.

“We brought this lawsuit to ask the court to clarify what the law is,” Center for Reproductive Rights staff attorney Gail Deady told KJZZ News. "It’s really outrageous that patients and doctors don’t know what the law is or whether they can provide or access care in Arizona."

A day after the Pima County Superior Court judge's ruling allowed the 1860s abortion ban to be enforced, another law that had been passed this year banning abortions after 15 weeks gestation went into effect in Arizona. 

Plaintiffs in the new lawsuit say doctors now don't understand which set of rules to follow and as a result of the legal confusion, providers have stopped offering abortion care in Arizona. 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich last week sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey, asking him to call a special session of the state Legislature to clarify which of the state's abortion laws is now in effect. 

A spokesperson for Brnovich told KJZZ News the Attorney General's Office had not been served with the new lawsuit yet as of Tuesday afternoon and declined to comment further on that case. 

A Maricopa County Superior Court hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 11. 

Politics Abortion