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Arizona Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal in Arizona if performed by a physician before the fetus reaches a gestational age of 15 weeks. Thereafter, abortion is legal only when a physician determines that there is a medical emergency and that the abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

Arizona Abortion Law After Dobbs

Arizona state lawmakers have a history of limiting abortion rights via statute. Before statehood, Arizona banned all abortions except those necessary to save the mother's life. That 1864 ban later became state law. It was blocked based on the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which created a constitutional right to abortion.

In 2022, Arizona lawmakers enacted a 15-week abortion ban, mirroring the Mississippi state law in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the case challenging the holding in Roe.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs, overturning Roe v. Wade and a constitutional right to abortion. This returned the issue of abortion regulation to the states.

In 2022, then-Attorney General of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, filed a lawsuit to have the injunction lifted on the 1864 abortion ban. The trial court judge in Pima County agreed and removed the injunction.

The Arizona Court of Appeals overturned that decision and upheld the 15-week limit in the 2022 law. However, the case is now pending in the Arizona Supreme Court.

Under the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling, Arizona permits abortions performed by a physician up to 15 weeks gestational age. After that, an abortion can only occur when a physician finds there is a medical emergency. The Court of Appeals held that the 2022 15-week abortion limitation applies to physicians. The 1864 near-total abortion ban applies to non-physicians.

In the November 2022 statewide elections, Arizonans elected Governor Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes, members of the state's Democratic Party. They support protections for reproductive health care, including the right to an abortion. Their immediate predecessors were both members of the Republican Party and did not.

To prevent inconsistent results, Governor Hobbs issued an executive order in 2023 that centralizes all abortion prosecutions in the state under the authority of the Arizona Attorney General's Office. Mayes has indicated she will not pursue abortion prosecutions. Her office provides up-to-date information on the state's abortion laws.

The executive order also provides that the state will decline extradition requests from other states seeking to prosecute those seeking abortion services in Arizona.

A separate Arizona abortion law bans abortions based on a genetic abnormality and is the subject of a court challenge in federal court. The Ninth Circuit federal appeals court held that abortion providers have standing to pursue the case.

The providers claim the ban is unconstitutionally vague under due process law. They state it gives abortion clinics insufficient notice of what conduct is criminal. The case remains pending.

Abortion rights supporters seek to put a state constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot to guarantee abortion access through viability, around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Passage of a state constitutional amendment could override both the 1864 abortion ban and the 15-week ban of 2022, the subject of the current abortion case before the state supreme court.

The main provisions of Arizona abortion laws appear in the table below. See FindLaw's Reproductive Rights section to learn more.

Relevant Arizona Abortion Laws

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Title 13, Criminal Code

  • Section 13-3603 - Definition; punishment

  • Section 13-3603.01 - Partial birth abortions; classification; civil action; definitions

  • Section 13-3603.02 - Abortion; sex and race selection; genetic abnormality; injunctive and civil relief; failure to report; definitions

Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Title 36, Public Health and Safety, Chapter 20, Abortion, Sections 36-2151 to 36-2164

  • Section 36-2151 - Definitions

  • Section 36-2152 - Parental consent; exception; hearings; time limits; violations; classification; civil relief; statute of limitations

  • Section 36-2153 - Informed consent; requirements; information; website; signage; violations; civil relief; statute of limitations

  • Section 36-2154 - Right to refuse to participate in abortion; abortion medication

  • Section 36-2155 - Performance of abortion by individual who is not a physician; prohibited

  • Section 36-2156 - Informed consent; ultrasound required; violation; civil action; statute of limitations

  • Section 36-2158 - Informed consent; fetal condition; website; unprofessional conduct; civil relief; statute of limitations

  • Section 36-2160 - Abortion inducing drugs; definition

Chapter 23, Protection of Human Fetus or Embryo, Sections 36-2301 to 36-2326

  • Section 36-2322 - Gestational limit on abortion; medical emergency exception; physician reports; confidentiality

  • Section 36-2324 - Violation; classification; exclusion from prosecution

  • Section 36-3604 - Use of telehealth for abortion prohibited; penalty


When Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion is legal if performed by a physician until the fetus or unborn child reaches a gestational age of 15 weeks. Thereafter, abortion is legal only when a physician determines that there is a medical emergency, and that the abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

Consent Requirements

Adult: except in the case of a medical emergency, voluntary and informed consent must be provided prior to abortion care or services; includes in-person meeting with physician at least 24 hours before the procedure where the patient receives information about gestational age, ability to view ultrasound, and access to other information about procedure and options.

Minor: same voluntary and informed consent requirements as above; must have consent in writing and notarized by one parent or guardian or conservator; exception for judicial bypass (if court is convinced of minor patient's maturity to give consent or that the procedure is in the minor patient's best interest).

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Up to two years in prison for a physician (based on 2022 law) or two to five years in prison for a non-physician (based on 1864 law).

Availability of Medication Abortion?

Yes. Medication abortion is available in Arizona at this time.

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Only a licensed physician can perform an abortion in Arizona and they must also have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- consider speaking with an Arizona family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of any state law(s) you are reviewing.

How Arizona Compares to Other States

In Arizona, abortion laws are more restrictive than in most other states. The majority of states provide for legal abortion with minimal restrictions until the fetus reaches viability at 22-24 weeks.

As of early 2024 16 states, including Texas, restrict abortion access with near-total bans or laws that prohibit abortion after the detection of an alleged fetal heartbeat at around six weeks, despite the heart not being formed at that point of development.

States also vary in their use of other restrictions or regulations, such as waiting periods or requirements that an abortion clinic offer the patient the option to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion.

A Note About Medication Abortion

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medication abortions account for some 53% of abortions occurring in the U.S. in 2021.

A court challenge filed in Texas in 2022 seeks to invalidate the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of one of the two drugs used in medication abortions. The FDA approved the use of the drug mifepristone in 2000 as part of a two-drug regimen of abortion pills.

Opponents contest the drug's approval and decisions by the FDA in 2016 and 2021 to amend certain regulations related to its provision. This includes rules for prescribing the drug and distributing it through the mail. A federal district injunction from Texas is on hold. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to decide the matter. The Court's decision is expected in 2024.

Research the Law

Abortion Law: Related Resources

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