Attorney General Kris Mayes hit the ground running on her first day in office to protect reproductive rights in Arizona. The first-ever Reproductive Rights Unit within the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) stays attuned to key issues and legal developments in the reproductive healthcare space, as well as coordinates with other states and groups nationwide to protect and expand access. Attorney General Mayes has also vowed to keep Arizonans informed on the state of the law and updates in reproductive healthcare.
State of the Law in Arizona
The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year was a serious setback for reproductive rights in this country and, unfortunately, much remains in flux due to intervening changes in state laws and ongoing litigation.
It is critical to remember that abortion, including medication abortion, is legal in Arizona.
Finer details: Abortion is legal in Arizona up to 15 weeks gestational age. After 15 weeks, abortion is legal if there is a statutorily defined “medical emergency,” which includes when the abortion is necessary to save the patient’s life. Patients seeking reproductive healthcare should contact licensed medical providers as soon as they can to get answers to their questions and understand their options for care.
Attorney General Mayes is resolved in her commitment to protect reproductive rights, bodily autonomy and privacy.
Data privacy is an increasingly important consumer protection issue across the board. But with the proliferation of healthcare technology like period-tracking and fertility apps, data privacy has new urgency for reproductive healthcare. The Attorney General issued a consumer advisory to inform Arizonans how to protect their privacy in the digital space.
Engaging with the community to identify needs:
AGO is forming authentic partnerships to help Arizonans in concrete ways. The Reproductive Rights Unit is collaborating with organizations, stakeholders and experts in this space to gather information, establish and repair relationships, and identify tangible areas where the office can play a role.
Fighting against misinformation:
There’s been a lot of misinformation and lack of clarity in the past about reproductive rights in Arizona. Attorney General Mayes is committed to providing Arizonans clarity when it comes to their reproductive rights.
Attorney General Mayes takes legal positions that will protect the health, safety, and privacy of all Arizonans. Under her leadership, Arizona has joined with other states in affirmative litigation to preserve and expand reproductive freedoms in our state and across the country.
Protecting access to reproductive healthcare in the courts:
The Attorney General is actively litigating against an attempt to resurrect a near-total ban on abortions from Arizona’s territorial days. AGO is fighting to defend the court of appeals’ decision held that a licensed doctor who performs an abortion that is legal under the newer laws cannot be prosecuted under the older law.
Medication abortion is legal in Arizona:
A key focus of anti-choice activists has been limiting access to medication abortion, which is an incredibly safe and widely-used treatment. The Attorney General joined a multi-state lawsuit asking a federal court in Washington to lift unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone, a medication abortion drug that has been used safely for over twenty years. Because of Arizona’s participation in this important lawsuit, mifepristone is currently legal and accessible in the state.
At the same time, the AGO also filed a brief opposing an anti-choice activist lawsuit in a federal court in Texas seeking to ban access to mifepristone nationwide.
Health care privacy:
On the regulatory front, AGO has submitted comments in support of proposed federal regulation that would safeguard reproductive health care privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The Attorney General also released in August 2023 a consumer advisory on data privacy protections when seeking reproductive healthcare.
Executive Order Protecting Reproductive Freedom in Arizona:
Arizonans should know that cases related to Arizona’s abortion statutes are currently being litigated in the courts. Those cases could affect the state of the law here.
However, Governor Hobbs issued an Executive Order on June 23, 2023, which directed the Attorney General’s Office to assume authority over any criminal prosecutions for violations of laws restricting access to abortion care. Attorney General Mayes will not bring or authorize prosecutions against medical personnel who provide abortion care, nor against patients seeking abortion care.