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Hobbs launches website to clarify Arizona abortion laws

Amid uncertainty around the future of abortion access in Arizona, Gov. Katie Hobbs is launching a new reproductive rights website. 

Reproductivehealth.az.gov lists questions like “is abortion legal in Arizona?” or “is birth control legal in Arizona?” and provides brief answers. The website clarifies that abortion is still allowed up to 15 weeks of gestation in the state. But it notes a near-total abortion ban dating to 1864 could take effect as early as June 8, and says the website will be updated if access to abortion in the state changes.

Hobbs on Thursday praised the House vote to repeal the near-total abortion ban, but also criticized the Legislature for not acting sooner. Even if the state Senate approves the repeal bill next week, Hobbs said the 1864 law could go back into effect over the summer before the repeal bill takes effect later this year.

"It's really, really, really frustrating, and there's a lot of fear from providers and patients about what care they can provide and get. And we shouldn't be in this situation," Hobbs said. "The Legislature should have done this a long time ago."  

Hobbs says the goal of the site is to clear up confusion following the state Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 1864 law.

The site also links to other reproductive health organizations and allows users to search for Arizona abortion providers.

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