The Mexican state closest to Arizona bans most abortions, setting up a regional void

Arizona’s Supreme Court ruled last week that an 1864 law banning most abortions from the moment of conception could be enforced, sending the state into chaos.

April 16, 2024
By Isabela Espadas Barros Leal and Albinson Linares

Though American and Mexican women have long relied on one another for abortion care, the impending restrictions in Arizona are set to create a regional lack of access that spans into the neighboring Mexican state of Sonora — where abortion is also banned with minimal exceptions.

Such stringent abortion restrictions have left organizers scrambling to support women seeking care on both sides of the border.  “Because we are on the border with the United States, what happens there affects us,” Leticia Burgos Ochoa, an abortion rights activist and former Mexican senator based in Sonora, told NBC News.


The History Behind Arizona’s 160-Year-Old Abortion Ban

The state’s Supreme Court ruled that the 1864 law is enforceable today. Here is what led to its enactment.

By Pam Belluck
April 10, 2024

The 160-year-old Arizona abortion ban that was upheld on Tuesday by the state’s highest court was among a wave of anti-abortion laws propelled by some historical twists and turns that might seem surprising.

For decades after the United States became a nation, abortion was legal until fetal movement could be felt, usually well into the second trimester. Movement, known as quickening, was the threshold because, in a time before pregnancy tests or ultrasounds, it was the clearest sign that a woman was pregnant.


Arizona supreme court upholds 1864 law banning almost all abortions

Justices rule to hold off on requiring state to enforce ban for 14 days, to allow advocates to ask lower court to pause it again

Carter Sherman
Tue 9 Apr 2024

The Arizona supreme court ruled Tuesday to let a law banning almost all abortions in the state go into effect, a decision that could curtail abortion access in the US south-west and could make Arizona one of the biggest battlefields in the 2024 electoral fight over abortion rights.

The justices said Arizona could enforce a 1864 near-total abortion ban, first passed before Arizona became a state, that went unenforced for decades after the US supreme court legalized abortion nationwide in the 1973 decision Roe v Wade. However, the justices also ruled to hold off on requiring the state to enforce the ban for 14 days, in order to allow advocates to ask a lower court to pause it again.


USA – Planned Parenthood affiliates train abortion doulas to reduce stress for patients

MARCH 15, 2024

A 39-year-old single mother of two got up extra early on a recent Wednesday morning, hoping to be one of the first outside the Planned Parenthood clinic near Phoenix, Arizona.

The upside of not telling anyone about her abortion was that she wasn’t going to have to explain herself. The downside was that she couldn’t receive any pain medication, since she’d have to drive herself home. After scraping together $770 to pay for the procedure — $250 of which she said came from an abortion fund — she couldn’t afford an Uber for the 80-minute round trip. So she was overcome with relief when not only did the busy clinic not turn her away, but a retired nurse named Mary Cross offered to be her abortion doula, free of charge.


Arizona, Dominican Republic both grapple with 19th century abortion laws

DECEMBER 26, 2023

In Arizona, the state’s highest court is considering whether to restore a near-total abortion ban from 1864, and in the Dominican Republic, women are fighting against an all-out ban from 1884.

The just 20-year difference separating the two laws was striking for Sen. Anna Hernandez, D-Phoenix, who traveled to the Caribbean country earlier this month to learn what awaits women in Arizona if access to abortions is cut off.


Arizona court weighs 1864 abortion ban that risks ‘conditions of misery’

After months of disarray over the legality of abortion, the state supreme court will decide whether to reinstate ‘zombie’ ban

Carter Sherman
Tue 12 Dec 2023

Dr Gabrielle Goodrick can barely bring herself to talk about the weeks when Arizona banned abortion.

In the months after the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade, abortion flickered in and out of legality in Arizona as state courts attempted to interpret a long-dormant 19th-century abortion ban that was suddenly relevant again. Goodrick, a longtime abortion provider in Phoenix, was forced to cancel patients’ appointments, then desperately try to reschedule them during the brief period of time when the procedure became legal again. Patients sometimes showed up at the clinic for their appointment, were turned away, and sobbed outside the clinic. Stressed-out staffers quit, but given all the uncertainty, Goodrick couldn’t hire new ones. She had to keep going with too few employees.


Supreme Courts in 3 states will hear cases about abortion access this week

DECEMBER 11, 2023
By Katherine Davis-Young (KJZZ), Alice Fordham (KUNM), Hanna Merzbach (KHOL/Wyoming Public Media)

The future of reproductive rights for a wide swath of the Mountain West may be decided next week, as three state Supreme Courts hear arguments in cases that will determine abortion access in the region. Here's what to know.

Which law is the law in Arizona?
When the U.S. Supreme Court returned abortion regulating power to states, Arizona had two seemingly conflicting abortion laws on the books. One, passed just a few months before Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, outlaws abortion after 15 weeks. The other, which dates back to 1864, is a near-total ban.


Women’s lives, like mine, hang in the balance if medication abortion is banned

Emma Burns
OCTOBER 18, 2023

This week, Vice President Kamala Harris visited my alma mater, Northern Arizona University, as part of her “Fight for Our Freedoms” college tour to discuss key issues that disproportionately impact young people across America, including reproductive freedom. This issue is deeply personal to me, which is why I’m sharing my story of how receiving an abortion while I was a student at NAU saved my life. Without access to a medication abortion, I would not have lived to see the end of my sophomore year, let alone my college graduation. The fight for our reproductive freedom is as important as ever now that access to this life-saving form of health care is under attack.

As a 19-year-old college student already struggling, finding out you’re pregnant with twins is akin to submerging underwater. The world falls silent, and your only thought is of survival. I knew the only way for me to move forward would be to terminate my pregnancy. But due to Arizona’s restrictive abortion laws and lack of access to care, I was almost unable to make this decision for myself.


Chaos and confusion: As a window opens for legal abortion in Arizona, providers ride emotional roller coaster alongside patients

By Taylor Romine, CNN
November 7, 2022

Dr. Jill Gibson is jogging from patient to patient through the complicated maze of exam rooms, wearing navy scrubs, protective booties and a magenta shirt reading “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.” Gibson, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Medical Director, saw nine patients the day CNN visited their Tempe clinic in late October. Those patients were there to decide how to proceed with a pregnancy, or to move forward with terminating their pregnancy.

Three weeks earlier, the latest in a series of back and forth legal rulings paved the way for the resumption of abortion care at shuttered Planned Parenthood clinics across the state. After the fall of Roe v. Wade in late June, Planned Parenthood closed its four clinics that provide abortion care because of “Arizona’s tangled web of conflicting laws,” the organization’s president and CEO, Brittany Fonteno, said at a press conference at the time.


Wins for abortion rights advocates in Arizona, Ohio with new court rulings

Two restrictive laws were temporarily blocked on Friday.

By Meredith Deliso
October 8, 2022

Restrictive abortion laws were temporarily struck down Friday in Ohio and Arizona, two states where abortion services have been in flux in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

In Ohio, a six-week abortion ban is indefinitely blocked while a state constitutional challenge brought by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers in the state proceeds.