PHOENIX — A Pima County judge's decision to lift an injunction on Arizona's decades-old abortion law has triggered strong reactions from the state's leaders.
The injunction had been blocking the enforcement of a law on the books since before Arizona became a state. The ban outlaws nearly all abortions, except if the woman’s life is in jeopardy.
The ruling also means people seeking abortions will have to go to another state to obtain one.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich applauded the court's decision, noting how the judge's ruling upholds the will of the Arizona Legislature.
Republican candidate for Attorney General Abraham Hamadeh released a statement echoing the sentiment of Mark Brnovich saying, "The court's latest ruling affirms the intent of the Legislature."
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, said she was "outraged and devastated" by the abortion ruling.
"There’s no doubt in my mind that this draconian 1901 law will have dire consequences on the health and well-being of Arizona women and their families," Hobbs said in a statement. "I am terrified of the severe, life-threatening impacts this law will have on Arizonans, and I know many Arizonans feel this fear today too."
Hobbs spoke alongside Democratic attorney general candidate Kris Mayes at a press event on Saturday. Hobbs promised immediate action against the ruling should she be elected.
"On day 1, I'll call a special session of the state legislature to overturn this draconian law."
Likewise, Mayes made clear that if elected Attorney General, she would challenge the law as "an unconstitutional violation of women's rights."
Mayes also raised issue with the economic ramifications of the ruling.
"What young woman is going to want to come to Arizona and study and work at our universities in the face of a 1901 law?"
Pima County Attorney Laura Conover, a Democrat, said she's "disappointed" to read the judge's ruling and noted how the near-total ban offers "no consideration for victims of rape and incest."
"We were hoping for a different result, and we will be looking at available legal remedies. Having a near complete ban on abortion procedures puts people at risk," Conover said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, who's running for re-election this year, wrote on Twitter that the ruling "will have a devastating impact on the freedom Arizona women have had for decades: to choose an abortion if they need one."
The National Council of Jewish Women-Arizona denounced the judge's ruling and said it further turns the state into an "abortion desert."
"Arizona turned back the clock 158 years," the council wrote in a statement Friday. "The court has effectively ended abortion rights in Arizona by putting into effect a Civil War Era abortion ban, which criminalizes doctors and anyone who assists in ending a pregnancy."
U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona, said Friday he wasn't surprised by the judge's ruling.
"If history has shown us time and time again, federal and state Republican leaders are willing to do anything and everything to strip women of their healthcare freedoms," Gallego said in a statement.
The ACLU of Arizona said the ruling marks a "dark day" in Arizona's history.
"By allowing this archaic law to go into effect, Arizona has put the lives of pregnant people at risk and will send doctors to prison for doing what’s best for their patient,” the ACLU wrote in a statement.
Kris Mayes, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, said she "refuses to go backwards" and promised to protect reproductive freedoms, if elected in November.
"This is outrageous and represents a clear violation of the rights of women in our state and all Arizonans. Even worse, this will put the health and lives of women at risk," Mayes wrote in a statement.
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