Arizona Attorney General Calls for California to Serve as ‘Safe Haven’ for Abortion Providers Following State Supreme Court Decision

Arizona Attorney General Calls for California to Serve as 'Safe Haven' for Abortion Providers Following State Supreme Court Decision

THE PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court decided this week that the state’s abortion ban from the Civil War is still in effect. The state’s attorney general said she will do everything she can to lessen the effects of the ban.

Lawyer General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, told NBC News in person on Thursday that her office is considering not prosecuting abortion providers and patients in order to help Arizona doctors get licenses in other states after the court upheld the 1864 ban on almost all abortions on Tuesday.

Doctors, pharmacists, and nurses are scared right now because they know that the 1864 ban could be put into place soon. Mayes said, “I totally understand where they are coming from.” Since this is the case, I’m working with other states to find ways for them to practice medicine in those places soon. As one of my dreams comes true, I see California as a safe place for our doctors, nurses, and people who perform abortions.

A law from 1864 in Arizona made abortion illegal from the moment of conception, but there was an exception for when the woman’s life was in danger. It turned abortion into a crime that could get you two to five years in prison if you did it or helped someone get one. A lower court had said that a recent 15-week ban was more important than the law, but Tuesday’s decision basically overturns that decision.

On Tuesday, the state Supreme Court said it would delay making a decision for 14 days so that a lower court could look into “additional constitutional challenges.” People who fight for reproductive rights have two weeks to review the decision. In the meantime, a different lawsuit that is still going on would let abortion doctors keep doing business until the end of May, even if the pregnancy is in its 15th week.

Soon after the decision, Mayes said in a statement, “No woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this harsh law in this state as long as I am Attorney General.”

“I was elected for this moment,” she said Thursday. It’s about freedom and being able to handle our own bodies. That’s why we’ll do everything it takes to get it done.

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