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Some Arizona abortions resume, but some still want to see state enforce a ban

Cathi Herrod
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Cathi Herrod in a 2015 file photo.

Some abortions in Arizona resumed this week after an appeals court  temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s near-total abortion ban. But some still hope to see the state outlaw abortion. 

Longtime Arizona abortion opponent Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said she’s not surprised the state’s Civil War-era ban is facing challenges in court. But Herrod said she’s optimistic Arizona’s courts will ultimately put the ban back into effect, since the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.

“The only reason the Arizona pre-Roe law was not enforceable was because of Roe. Roe is gone. Now that pre-Roe law should be enforceable," Herrod said. "It’s a matter of time before the courts do the right thing."

But Arizona also has newer laws related to abortion, like one passed this year that allows the procedure up to 15 weeks gestation. Planned Parenthood  is arguing courts need to explain how that law should fit in. 

When they temporarily blocked enforcement of the old ban, appeals court  judges wrote that Planned Parenthood has a "substantial likelihood of success" in their argument.

Polling suggests  most Arizonans want abortion to remain legal, at least in some circumstances. Less than 10% of Arizonans in a September poll said they thought all abortions should be outlawed in the state. 

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.