Hobbs Defends Planned Parenthood In Court Filing

October 11, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

The transition in Arizona’s statewide leadership party credentials continues to manifest itself in the fight to defend innocent life in the womb.

Last week, Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs announced that she had “filed an amicus brief in support of Planned Parenthood, opposing the reinstatement of a total abortion ban.” The legal filing was transmitted to the Arizona Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Mayes. The case was previously initiated under the prior Attorney General’s, Republican Mark Brnovich, administration. Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, has made no secret of her opposition to the pro-life law in dispute, despite her office named as one of the defendants.

In the Hobbs’ amicus brief, she argues that “Abortion access is critical to the health, safety, and wellbeing of Arizonans, and implicates significant liberty interests,” that “failure to harmonize the Territorial Ban with Title 36 and returning to a near-total ban on abortion raises serious questions under the Arizona Constitution,” and that “the constitutional avoidance canon further supports affirming the Court of Appeals’ decision.”

The governor highlighted her battle “against extremists who want to jail doctors and bring an end to reproductive freedom in Arizona.” She noted the stories of two women in the state “who have relied on access to abortion care,” writing, “Erika who sought reproductive healthcare after a previous pregnancy threatened her life. She now lives happily with her daughter & husband in Sedona. And Jasmine, who struggled to provide for her two children when she discovered she was pregnant. Abortion access allowed her to graduate from college & pursue full-time work.”

One of Arizona’s premier pro-life organizations, the Center for Arizona Policy, also filed its own amicus brief at the state’s Supreme Court. The Center’s President, Cathi Herrod issued a statement about the brief and the importance of the case, writing, “The brief pushes back against claims from abortion activists suggesting that because Arizona lawmakers only passed pro-life laws within the constraints of Roe, that they never wanted to further restrict abortion. That is clearly false. In anticipation of the eventual fall of Roe, the Arizona Legislature consistently showed its dedication to preserving the rights of the unborn by keeping the pre-Roe law on the books, which reflects Arizona’s strong pro-life position.”

The brief from Center for Arizona Policy argues that the “Respondents’ focus on legislative inaction is incomplete and unavailing,” that “the legislature’s express instruction to retain 13-3603 and to interpret Arizona law to protect unborn children should be respected – especially given the unique circumstances here,” and that “overlap in laws protecting unborn children is a feature, not a flaw, where legal challenges are an ever-present threat.”

The case will be before the Arizona Supreme Court in December.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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