The Arizona Supreme Court has confirmed that it will hand down its long-awaited decision on whether Arizonans are now subjected to the Civil War-era anti-abortion law. The Opinion will be released at 10am on Tuesday.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v Wade two years ago, Arizona’s battle over the 1864 law that mandates a 2-year minimum sentence for any abortion provider (with exceptions for life of the mother) took shape.

Arizona’s pre-Roe injunction was lifted by a Pima County trial court judge in September 2022. However, the Court of Appeals reversed it in December 2022, stating that it must now be harmonized with the statutes that the Legislature had passed regulating abortion during the period between Roe (1973) and Dobbs (2022).

That is the appeal that is about to be decided by the Arizona Supreme Court Justices (all appointed by Republican governors).

And, it comes in the wake of an interim announcement bv a coalition of abortion rights groups* that they have collected more than 500,000 signatures to place a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights on the November ballot. (Less than 400,000 valid signatures are needed to qualify.)

Here is some background to prepare for tomorrow’s decision:

1) The Supreme Court staff attorneys’ summary of the issue to be decided, with good background of the rollercoaster that got us to this point.

2) The Court of Appeals’ Opinion that the justices are reviewing.

3) The oral argument from December 12, 2023, before the Arizona Supreme Court.

*Disclosure: This article is written by attorney Paul Weich, who is a volunteer coordinator and informal advisor in the coalition’s signature-gathering process.