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AZ Supreme Court to weigh state's pro-life law

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following oral arguments Tuesday
baby looking at mother

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 9:30 a.m. MST, Tuesday, Dec. 12

WHERE:  Arizona Supreme Court, 1501 W. Washington St., #411, Phoenix, or view the livestream. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Manager Bernadette Tasy at (480) 356-0324.

PHOENIX – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral arguments Tuesday at the Arizona Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes. ADF attorneys are representing Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, an obstetrician and medical director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Arizona, who filed a petition in March asking the state’s high court to review an Arizona Court of Appeals ruling, which it agreed to do.

The appellate court’s ruling reinterpreted state law, against its plain meaning, to allow abortion in circumstances where the Legislature prohibited it. It also enjoined officials from fully enforcing Arizona’s pro-life law to protect unborn children.

“Life is a human right, and Arizona’s pro-life law respects that right,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jake Warner, who will be arguing before the court. “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 the people of Arizona, through their elected representatives, reaffirmed that law just last year. Consistent with this clear reaffirmation of life, we are urging the Arizona Supreme Court to allow the state’s pro-life law to once again protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children.”

In September 2022, the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County appointed Hazelrigg as the substitute guardian ad litem to legally represent the best interests of unborn children in Arizona, a role Arizona courts have recognized for over 50 years. The court also ruled that, because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the state is free to protect the lives of unborn children by enforcing its pre- Roe law. ADF attorneys argued for that result in a brief filed in August 2022, asking the court to grant then Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s request to lift a nearly 50-year-old injunction against the state’s pro-life law, which the court had previously blocked based on Roe.

In May, numerous pro-life advocacy groups, Arizona state legislators, and 17 states united in support of protecting unborn lives by filing friend-of-the-court briefs with the Arizona Supreme Court, which in August agreed to hear the case.

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.