UPDATE, 1/20, 4:30pm: "AZ Supreme Court Won't Extend Deadline To Appeal Abortion Ruling; Turns Down Anti-Abortion Group's Request"
The Arizona Supreme Court this afternoon rejected an anti-abortion group's request to extend the deadline to appeal last month's ruling permitting Arizona physicians to still perform abortions pursuant to Arizona restrictions. Today's order does not prevent the Alliance Defending Freedom from re-asking for an extension until March 1, or asking the justices to re-consider the ruling before the current January 30 deadline.
The Court of Appeals decision last month (below) found that the Territorial-era ban on abortion procedures did not obliterate years of post-Roe/pre-Dobbs restrictions passed into law.
Although not a party to that case, ADF filed a Motion last week asking the Supreme Court to give them an additional month to prepare a Petition for Review because of a heavy workload. They are seeking to intervene on behalf of an Arizona physician, Eric Hazelrigg.
After inquiries from Arizona's Law, the Supreme Court Clerk's Office rejected the extension request, noting that ADF had not followed proper procedures. That Order - and, the Motion - are posted below.
Yesterday, we reported on a separate abortion-related case, in which a federal judge refused to stop one of those post-Roe/pre-Dobbs restrictive laws - the 2021 law prohibiting an abortion procedure if the sole reason is because of a prospective genetic abnormality.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE, 12/30, 4:30pm: "Physicians CAN Perform Abortions In Arizona, Appeals Court Rules; Declines To Repeal"
A unanimous three-judge panel from the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled this afternoon that Arizona physicians CAN Perform Abortions, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's repeal of Roe v. Wade putting Arizona's territorial-era complete ban of abortions back into effect.
The opinion is a victory for Pima County and Planned Parenthood, and a defeat for outgoing Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
The court agreed that the subsequent laws passed by the Arizona Legislature over the years regulating physicians' performance of abortion procedures - including this year's 15-week ban - made it clear that those elective abortions are permitted under law, despite the renewed complete ban.
Writing for the court, Chief Judge Garye Vasquez wrote that "(r)eading § 13-3603 to impose criminal liability for physicians providing those restricted abortions would eliminate the elective abortions the legislature merely intended to regulate under Title 36."
There are still plenty of knotty issues to resolve about Arizona's mosaic of abortion-related restrictions. Another case is pending in both U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit over the Legislature's 2021 anti-abortion law.