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ADF to AZ Supreme Court: Protect pro-life law

ADF attorneys file response with state high court urging it to reject an attempt to halt enforcement of pro-life law
Mother With Newborn Baby

PHOENIX – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a response Tuesday with the Arizona Supreme Court asking it to uphold the state’s pro-life law until it’s repealed later this year and reject an attempt by Planned Parenthood to halt its enforcement in the meantime.

In the case, Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes, ADF attorneys represent Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, an obstetrician and medical director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Arizona.

“Life is a human right, and Arizona’s pro-life law respects that fundamental right,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner. “Life begins at conception. At just six weeks, unborn babies’ hearts begin to beat. At eight weeks, they have fingers and toes. And at 10 weeks, their unique fingerprints begin to form. Arizona’s pro-life law has protected unborn children for over 100 years, and while we are deeply saddened by the legislature’s recent vote to repeal the law, it won’t take effect immediately, as the legislature intentionally decided. We are urging the Arizona Supreme Court to allow the state’s pro-life law to protect as many innocent unborn children as possible.”

Last month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to uphold the state’s pro-life law, overturning a lower court decision that had misinterpreted it. In the response, ADF attorneys recognized that the court “exercised commendable restraint,” following its “limited constitutional rule and duty to interpret the law as written.” The response asks the court to again respect the legislature’s decision to fully protect unborn human life until the state’s pro-life law is repealed. While the legislature could have immediately repealed that law, it refused. That choice is meaningful.

The court’s opinion drew strong reactions last month. ADF attorneys explain in the response that Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes and Planned Parenthood have promised to do everything they can to prevent Arizona’s pro-life law from ever being enforced. They now seek to halt the court’s ruling, saying they need time to consider an appeal and arguing it is unjust to enforce the law before it is repealed. Last week, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill to repeal the pro-life law 91 days after the legislative session ends, but until that repeal goes into effect, the law should continue protecting unborn children.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Jake Warner
Jake Warner
Senior Counsel
Jake Warner serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom’s Appellate Team.