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Supreme Courts in three states consider abortion issues this week

Attorney General Raul Torrez attending oral arguments before the New Mexico Supreme Court The Albuquerque Journal via Associated Press/Photo by Eddie Moore

Supreme Courts in three states consider abortion issues this week

New Mexico’s Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether municipalities may impose local laws protecting unborn babies from abortion. New Mexico is one of the few states in the nation that allows abortion anytime until birth. New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez argues that local abortion laws violate the state constitution’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex or pregnancy. Local municipalities argue that abortion is not protected under any interpretation of the state’s constitution.

What other states are weighing laws? Arizona’s Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on whether to uphold an 1864 law criminalizing anyone receiving or aiding an abortion, except when a mother's life is at risk. The law was overruled when Roe v. Wade passed in 1973. Governor Doug Ducey passed a 2022 law protecting children from abortion after 15 weeks of gestation. Lawmakers decided to compromise last year and decided the 1864 ban would only apply to non-physicians, while the 15-week protection would apply to medical professionals. The court will now decide which abortion protocol will be upheld. The Wyoming Supreme Court also heard arguments on Tuesday in a case to decide whether abortion is considered healthcare protected by the state’s constitution. Tuesday’s hearing involved arguments on whether to let more pro-life plaintiffs participate in the lawsuit.

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in Vitals on the cases.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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