Judge rules Arizona can enforce near-total abortion ban

An abortion rights activist during a vigil a few hours before Indiana's near-total abortion ban goes into effect in Bloomington, Indiana.

This injunction, which has been blocked for 50 years, has a single exception to the rule: if the woman's life is in danger. The ruling is likely to be appealed.

The state of Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for 50 years, a judge ruled Friday, meaning clinics across the state will have to stop providing the procedures to avoid criminal charges against doctors and other health care workers.

A court order has long blocked enforcement of a law, in place since before Arizona became a state, that bans nearly all abortions.

The ruling also means that people who want an abortion will have to go to another state to get one.

It is likely that the ruling will be appealed.

The decision by Arizona Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson came more than a month after arguments were heard on Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich's petition to lift the injunction.

The measure had been in place since shortly after the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which established that women have a constitutional right to abortion.

[Her 16-year-old daughter died after being denied an abortion: "It's outrageous that her story is repeating itself"]

The Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June 24 and said states can regulate abortion as they wish.

[Does the Bible condemn abortion as some Christians claim, or does it defend it?]

A ban on abortion at any time during pregnancy is in effect in 12 Republican-led states.

In the state of Wisconsin, on the other hand, clinics have stopped performing abortions amid litigation over the validity of an 1849 ban.

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