Planned Parenthood Arizona begins legal fight to prevent AG Brnovich’s abortion ban

“Attorney General Brnovich is playing politics at the expense of Arizonans’ lives, and it’s not...
“Attorney General Brnovich is playing politics at the expense of Arizonans’ lives, and it’s not just despicable and legally unfounded — it’s dangerous,” said Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 1:53 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A major women’s healthcare and abortion provider in Arizona is starting to work through the legal system to stop Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s continuing effort to enforce a near-complete abortion ban in Arizona.

Planned Parenthood Arizona says it filed a response in Pima County Superior Court opposing Brnovich’s motion to vacate an injunction that blocked Arizona’s pre-Roe law that dates back more than 100 years. The Attorney General’s Office said they sought consistency and clarity in the application of the law after the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, Gov. Doug Ducey says a ban on abortions after 15 weeks signed in March takes precedence over the pre-1901 law Brnovich said is in effect.

“We believe this is the best and most accurate state of the law,” said Brnovich at the time. “We know this is an important issue to so many Arizonans, and our hope is that the court will provide clarity and uniformity for our state.” That law was passed in 1901 but was upheld in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled to constitutionally protect a person’s right to seek an abortion.

Planned Parenthood wrote in its response that state law has “dozens of laws” that permit doctors to perform abortions, many of those laws enacted by the state legislature in the last 50 years. The organization says that the state cannot “override these more recent laws in one fell swoop by seeking to revive the pre-Roe, near total criminal ban—a result that lacks popular electoral support.”

“Attorney General Brnovich is playing politics at the expense of Arizonans’ lives, and it’s not just despicable and legally unfounded — it’s dangerous,” said Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona “No archaic, harmful 150-year-old law should dictate our reproductive freedom and how we live our lives today. We won’t go back.”

In response, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office provided the following statement:

“The Supreme Court rightly returned this important issue to our elected representatives. In Arizona, our legislature has consistently re-affirmed our existing law prior to Roe v. Wade, most recently with legislation passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor earlier this year.  While we wait for the court to issue its opinion, we will continue to seek to protect the most vulnerable.”