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Tags: arizona | abortion ban | 1864 law | kris mayes | prosecute

Arizona Abortion Providers Say They Won't Break 1864 Law

By    |   Thursday, 18 April 2024 10:08 PM EDT

Despite Attorney General Kris Mayes' pledge to not prosecute, Arizona abortion providers say they aren't likely to break the 1864 law that's responsible for a near-total ban on the controversial procedure.

"I have no intention to break an established law just because an attorney says they're not going to prosecute," Ronald Yunis, a doctor at Acacia Women's Center, told Axios Phoenix.

Yunis pointed out that in two years a new attorney general could be elected and could decide to retroactively prosecute.

DeShawn Taylor, a doctor at Desert Star Institute for Family Planning, told the outlet that she appreciates Mayes' efforts, but is working with her board to decide whether to continue performing abortions.

"Each of us providers will have to make a determination as to whether or not that is a risk we're willing to take," Taylor said.

Last year, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, issued an executive order prohibiting the state's 15 county attorneys from prosecuting for violations of the state's abortion statutes. The order also granted Mayes' office exclusive authority to prosecute abortion-related crimes.

The 1864 ban is slated to become state law June 8 and Mayes has promised not to prosecute doctors who perform abortions, saying in a statement on Wednesday that she will "fight like hell" to prevent the measure from taking effect.

According to Axios Phoenix, Mayes also said she's had conversations with the California attorney general about possibly obtaining emergency licenses for Arizona abortion providers.

The text of the 1864 law states that anyone who acts "with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage" shall be imprisoned, and Yunis said he's afraid that he could be prosecuted for advising a patient to travel to obtain an abortion under the statute's broad language.

On Wednesday, Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives repeatedly tried to repeal the 1864 abortion ban but were blocked each time by Republicans. In four votes, the chamber deadlocked 30-30 on a procedural motion that would have allowed a repeal bill to be brought to the floor.

Hobbs called GOP lawmakers obstructing the repeal effort "extremists."

"I will continue to call on the legislature to do its job and repeal this law," she said in a statement after the fourth 30-30 vote. "A law from 1864 written by 27 men cannot be allowed to govern the lives of millions of Arizona women."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Despite Attorney General Kris Mayes' pledge to not prosecute, Arizona abortion providers say they aren't likely to break the 1864 law that's responsible for a near-total ban on the controversial procedure.
arizona, abortion ban, 1864 law, kris mayes, prosecute
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2024-08-18
Thursday, 18 April 2024 10:08 PM
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