Arizona Supreme Court upholds law protecting ‘countless’ lives from abortion

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld an 1864 law protecting unborn children from abortion.

Following legal wrangling about whether the law was blocked by more recent legislation permitting abortion up to 15 weeks, the US state’s highest court concluded that there is no “provision in federal or state law” prohibiting it from coming into effect.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned its 1973 ruling on Roe v Wade in June two years ago, individual states have regained power to legislate on the issue.


Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jake Warner, who was involved in the case, said: “Life is a human right, and today’s decision allows the state to respect that right and fully protect life again — just as the legislature intended. Life begins at conception.”

He stated: “Arizona’s pro-life law has protected unborn children for over 100 years, and the people of Arizona, through their elected representatives, have repeatedly affirmed that law, including as recently as 2022.

“We celebrate the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision that allows the state’s pro-life law to again protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children.”

The law, which only permits abortion when it is “necessary to save” the mother’s life, will not come into force for 14 days, to allow “remaining constitutional challenges” to be heard by a lower court.

‘Embryos are children’

Earlier this year, Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children, and that anyone who destroys one could be held legally accountable.

The judgment was in relation to a case brought by three couples whose embryos were accidentally destroyed at a fertility clinic when a patient accessed the storage area and handled and dropped the embryos. Their original claim had been dismissed by a lower court, which said the law only applied to foetuses inside the womb, not embryos outside of it.

But the state’s supreme court overturned that ruling, explaining that “neither the text of the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act nor this Court’s precedents exclude extrauterine children from the Act’s coverage. Unborn children are ‘children’ under the Act, without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics.”

Also see:

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