PHOENIX (NEWSnet/AP) — Abortion will remain legal up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in Arizona due to a temporary hold on enforcing the state's 1864 abortion ban.

The justices gave the state’s attorney general another 90 days to decide the next steps in the case over an 1864 near-total ban on abortion that lawmakers recently voted to repeal. Their decision also allows Attorney General Kris Mayes more time to decide whether to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is one of the disputes that resulted on a state-by-state level in the aftermath of a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that reversed the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

Mayes expressed gratitude for the order, explaining that the earliest the 1864 law can now take effect is Sept. 26, counting the 90 days just granted, plus another 45 days stipulated in a separate case.

“I will do everything I can to ensure that doctors can provide medical care for their patients according to their best judgment, not the beliefs of the men elected to the territorial legislature 160 years ago,” Mayes said.

In April, Arizona’s Supreme Court voted to restore the 1864 law that provided no exceptions for rape or incest and allows abortions only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The majority opinion suggested doctors could be prosecuted and sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted.

The Legislature then voted narrowly to revoke the Civil War-era law, but the official repeal won’t take effect until 90 days after lawmakers end their current session.

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