An Arizona court judge ruled that the state can impose a near-complete
ban on abortion with the singular exception of threat to a woman’s life. The
ruling, that came on Friday, means clinics will have to stop offering abortions
and doctors and medical workers will face criminal charges if they conduct

Friday’s ruling ends a decades-old injunction that had blocked
the law on books since before Arizona became a state. This means, all people
seeking abortions will have to go to another state to obtain one.

The judgement was given by Pima County Superior Judge Kellie
Johnson. It comes after Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich requested
that the injunction be lift. The injunction was imposed a little after the US
Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973, a ruling that gave federal
protection to women’s right to obtain an abortion.

The near-complete ban on abortion was imposed in Arizona in
1912. Prosecutions stopped after Roe v. Wade. While the legislature continued
to re-enact the law, for the last time in 1977.

At a hearing on August 19, Arizona Assistant Attorney General Beau
Roysden said the sole reason for the injunction blocking the old law, Roe v.
Wade is gone and Johnson should allow it to be enforced. Under the law, anyone
who performs a surgical operation can face two to five years in prison.

“The Court finds an attempt to reconcile fifty years of
legislative activity procedurally improper in context of the motion and record
before it,” wrote Johnson. “While there may be legal questions the parties seek
to resolve regarding Arizona statutes on abortion, those questions are not for
this Court to decide here,” the judge ruled.

A physician who runs a clinic providing abortions in Arizona told
Associated Press: “It kind of goes with what I’ve been saying for a while now –
it is the intent of people who run this state that abortion be illegal here.”

“Of course we want to hold onto hope in the back of our minds,
but in the front of my mind I have been preparing the entire time for the total
ban,” the doctor said.