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Arizona Supreme Court expected to rule this week in abortion case

The state Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling Tuesday in a case that will determine whether abortion can remain legal in Arizona.

Abortion is currently allowed up to 15 weeks of gestation in the state, based on a law passed in 2022.  The justices are considering whether the state should continue following the 15-week law, or if it should enforce law dating back to the 1860s which bans all abortions, except in cases where the life of the pregnant person is at risk. 

During oral arguments in December, attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom argued the 15-week law was not meant to overturn the old ban or to create any right to abortion. 

But attorneys for Planned Parenthood Arizona argued if lawmakers had wanted to ban abortion when they wrote the 15-week law in 2022, they would have explicitly done so.

Separately, abortion rights advocates are already  pursuing a 2024 ballot measure that would expand abortion access far beyond either of the laws being considered.

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