Doctor, attorney weigh on judge’s decision to halt Arizona’s near-total abortion ban

A major change to abortion rights in the state makes it temporarily legal to get an abortion up until 15 weeks.
Published: Oct. 8, 2022 at 8:08 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 8, 2022 at 9:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A major change in abortion rights in the state makes it temporarily legal to get an abortion up until 15 weeks.

“We were used to answering the phones and helping patients navigate care outside of the state. We had worked out a system where we would see them before and then have them set up tele-medicine in California,” said Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, owner and medical director at Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix.

But as of Friday, clinics like Dr. Goodrick’s can perform certain abortions in Arizona again. The appellate judges sided with Planned Parenthood Arizona, writing that there’s a need to straighten out the state’s abortion laws. “Our office understands this is an emotional issue, and we will carefully review the court’s ruling before determining the next step,” said Brittni Thomason, spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Dr. Goodrick describes the news as bittersweet. “We will be back to providing care like we always have. Except with the gestational ban, which is cruel in and of itself, but I’m certainly grateful we can provide care for about 92% of our patients that are under 15 weeks,” she said.

Without a definitive stance on abortion finalized in Arizona, Mark Kokanovich, a former United States attorney and current Ballard Spahr attorney, believes the legal battle over Arizona’s abortion laws will continue to increase to higher courts. “It will go at least to the Arizona Supreme Court and the Supreme Court has already ruled that Roe v. Wade is not the law of the land anymore after Dobbs,” he said.

Kokanovich and Dr. Goodrick agree that the fate of abortions in our state could change quickly. “The upcoming election has a huge impact on the future of this litigation,” Kokanovich said.

“I imagine things will change after the election, depending on the results,” said Dr. Goodrick.