Arizona Judge Stands By Pro-Life Ruling

An Arizona judge on Friday rejected a bid by abortion advocates to freeze her earlier order that allowed enforcement of a Civil-War-era law that made it a crime to provide an abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson on Sept. 30 declined to put on hold her Sept. 22 ruling that lifted a 1973 injunction and, by allowing the pre-statehood law to take effect, imposed a near-total abortion ban.

Johnson said in her ruling (pdf) that pro-abortion groups led by Planned Parenthood and its Arizona affiliate—who had urged the judge to reverse her decision—were unlikely to succeed on appeal. The judge also said that Planned Parenthood was unable to prove that denying the organization’s request would cause irreparable harm.

Her ruling means Arizona’s abortion providers won’t be able to resume performing the procedures except if the mother’s life is in danger.

Abortion Advocates ‘Outraged’

“Social justice” advocacy group the National Council of Jewish Women Arizona decried the judge’s decision in a post on Twitter.

“Quite simply, policymakers here are completely out of touch with average Arizonans who want abortion to remain legal and oppose forced birthing by the legislature and courts,” the group said.

Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who’s running for governor, took to social media to call Johnson’s ruling “a bleak new reality” that she vowed to “fight tirelessly.”

Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, told The Associated Press she was “outraged” by the ruling.

In a statement to local media outlet 3TV/CBS 5, Fonteno said that the “fight to restore abortion access to Arizonans is far from over as we will continue to appeal the court’s ruling.”

Failed ‘Balance of Hardship’ Test

Planned Parenthood Arizona (PPAZ) filed a motion on Sept. 26 seeking to put

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