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Arizona Court of Appeals to hear arguments over state's abortion ban law

The future of abortion access in Arizona is once again being considered in a courtroom. Arizona’s law banning almost all abortions is currently blocked. But judges with the Arizona Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday over whether it should go back into effect.

A Superior Court judge in September  ruled that Arizona's Civil War-era abortion ban could be enforced. But Planned Parenthood and others have appealed that decision.

Sarah Mac Dougall, an attorney with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told KJZZ News she thinks the Superior Court should have considered all of the other laws pertaining to abortion that the state has passed in more recent years.

“You need to look at all of the changes that have happened, you can’t say, 'there’s this one case, but pay no attention to all of these laws behind the curtain,'" Mac Dougall said. "The territorial era ban, we argue, doesn’t just automatically spring back with no thought about the dozens of other statutes that have been passed.”

Planned Parenthood is asking the Appeals Court to keep in place a 2022 law that allows abortions up to 15 weeks' gestation.

The Attorney General's Office did not respond to a request for comment, but attorneys for the office have  previously argued in court that Arizona’s near-total ban is now valid since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer.

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.