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Arizona Supreme Court's abortion ruling sparks fear, uncertainty

Arizona abortion ruling sparks fear, uncertainty
Arizona Supreme Court's abortion ruling sparks fear, uncertainty 02:21

Phoenix, Arizona — Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix is the busiest abortion clinic in Arizona, according to its founder Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, seeing some 350 patients a month.

But following the Arizona Supreme Court ruling Tuesday that clears the way to reinstate an 1864 law that would ban nearly all abortions, Goodrick says she's worried about what could happen.

Abortions in the state are currently legal until 15 weeks. The 1864 law bans all abortions. The only exceptions are to save the life of the mother, and there are none for cases of rape or incest.

"We provide an essential health care service for the patients of Arizona," Goodrick told CBS News. "And if we can't provide that, they're going to be lost, they're going to be in danger." 

Efforts to repeal the newly-revived law in the Arizona State Legislature on Wednesday were shut down by Republicans

"Democrats are so eager to enshrine in our state constitution a right to kill unborn children up until birth with virtually no restrictions," Republican Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma said in a statement Wednesday. "…The court's 47-page ruling was released just yesterday, and we as an elected body are going to take the time needed to listen to our constituents and carefully consider appropriate actions, rather than rush legislation on a topic of this magnitude without a larger discussion."

This was despite the court's ruling receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle, including from former President Donald Trump.

"I'm ready to do whatever it takes to get the 1864 ban repealed," Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said Wednesday.

The Biden campaign on Thursday also launched a seven-figure ad buy in Arizona that focuses on abortion. Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to travel to the state Friday.  

The group Arizona For Abortion Access says it has gathered enough signatures for a November ballot initiative allowing abortions up to about 24 weeks. Nurse Ashleigh Feiring has been helping with the effort.

"I would say it is far more dangerous to make abortions illegal, and have abortions go underground, because I will tell you that people will not stop getting abortions," Feiring said in response to criticism from opponents of abortion rights who say the initiative is bad legislation.

At least one anti-abortion rights group is mounting a campaign against the ballot initiative.

"As I see it, and as our campaign sees it, this amendment would be absolutely catastrophic for the health of women and girls," said Joanna Delacruz of the It Goes Too Far campaign.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95% of abortions take place at 15 weeks or earlier, and only 1% take place at 21 weeks or later. 

The timeline of when the 1864 law could take effect is unclear. Goodrick says when it does, it will be a dangerous time for women.

"It will harm a tremendous amount of Arizonans, and you know, it will be terrible," Goodrick said. 

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