California Emergency Licenses Not Needed for Arizona Doctors After Abortion Ban Repeal

California Emergency Licenses Not Needed for Arizona Doctors After Abortion Ban Repeal

Washington —

California Democrats acted quickly after the Arizona Supreme Court restored an almost complete abortion ban that had been enacted decades before the state was formed. Arizona doctors can obtain temporary licenses to perform abortions in California for Arizona patients through the end of November.

Abortion providers and proponents of abortion rights in Arizona expressed gratitude for the thoughtful act. But according to California officials, no doctors from Arizona have enrolled as of yet.

The 1864 law, which contained a two-to five-year prison sentence for anybody who assisted in ending a pregnancy and for any woman who had an abortion unless her life was in jeopardy, was repealed by the Arizona Legislature, which lessened the urgency.

The state’s 2022 ban, which lasts for 15 weeks, still stands. However, the Pew Research Center reports that almost all abortions are completed by the thirteenth week, therefore under the existing law, few Arizonans would have to cross a state line.

Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, medical director of Camelback Family Planning, a Phoenix abortion clinic, stated via email that “it honestly seems kind of useless.” It’s not only unworkable, but totally untenable. Furthermore, since the prohibition will not be implemented, Arizonans won’t need to travel outside of the state.

California Emergency Licenses Not Needed for Arizona Doctors After Abortion Ban Repeal

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On May 23, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California bill.

As of right now, no one has applied for an emergency license with the California Medical Board or the California Osteopathic Medical Board, according to Monica Vargas, a representative of the state Department of Consumer Affairs.


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The purpose of solidarity, for California politicians who backed the emergency licensure, was evident.

The Democratic representative from Davis, state representative Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, co-chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, stated, “The last thing we want is women not having the reproductive rights that we do here in California.”

“We’ve taken the lead in providing women patients with the chance to travel to California and receive the necessary medical care.”

Executive director of Pro-Choice Arizona and the Abortion Fund of Arizona, Eloisa Lopez, said she is not aware of anyone who has expressed interest in obtaining an expedited license from California. Lopez works with four Planned Parenthood locations and five independent abortion clinics throughout the state.

“It’s challenging to anticipate a provider to begin providing care in California, while still being able to run a clinic in Arizona,” the speaker stated.

A similar law was passed in 2022 in Democratic-dominated California, following the Republican-led state of Texas’s adoption of a six-week abortion ban. That occurs before many women even become aware that they are expecting.


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48 years before Arizona became a state, during the Civil War, there was a nearly complete ban.

While these restrictions were still in effect in theory, they were rendered unenforceable by the historic 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which recognized the right to an abortion.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe, Arizona’s top court declared in April that the prohibition was once again enforceable on June 24, 2022. The court in Arizona postponed enforcement until September 26.

After that, the Legislature lifted the restriction, which was signed into law on May 2 by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs.

However, state law repeals are not effective until ninety days following the Legislature’s adjournment. The adjournment occurred on Saturday night, allowing for the repeal to take effect two weeks before the 1864 law could have been put back into effect.

In any case, the new law caused confusion for providers in California. Many believed it unnecessary because the 2022 law still permits abortion providers to receive accelerated licensing.

As to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses under the 2022 law have been granted to four physicians.

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