Abortion doctors cannot be prosecuted under Arizona pre-statehood law


PHOENIX — An Arizona appeals court on Friday ruled abortions performed in the state by licensed physicians are legal up to 15 weeks of gestation despite a 19th-century, near-total abortion ban.

The ruling from the three-member panel from the southern division of the Arizona Court of Appeals clears up months of uncertainty over the legality of abortion in Arizona by saying physicians who perform abortions under a new law that permits them up to 15 weeks of gestation are not subject to prosecution under the territorial-era near-total abortion ban.

Abortion law in the state had been in flux following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this summer to eliminate Roe v. Wade, the constitutional right to an abortion, and leave the issue up to states, though both medical and surgical abortions have been legally occurring in Arizona up until 15 weeks of gestation since October, pending the appeals court decision.


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