Arizona’s high court is allowing the attorney general 90 more days on her abortion ban strategy

PHOENIX — Arizona’s highest court on Monday gave the state’s attorney general another 90 days to decide further legal action in the case over a 160-year-old near-total ban on abortion that lawmakers recently voted to repeal.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s order leaves in place for now a more recent law that legalizes abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. It also allows Attorney General Kris Mayes more time to decide whether to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mayes expressed gratitude for the order, and said the earliest the 1864 law can now take effect is Sept. 26, counting the 90 days just granted, plus another 45 days stipulated in a separate case.

“I will do everything I can to ensure that doctors can provide medical care for their patients according to their best judgment, not the beliefs of the men elected to the territorial legislature 160 years ago,” Mayes said.

Arizona’s Supreme Court in April voted to restore the older law that provided no exceptions for rape or incest and allows abortions only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The majority opinion suggested doctors could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted.

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