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Case: Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson v. Brnovich

C127867 | Arizona state trial court

Filed Date: July 22, 1971

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 22, 1971, the Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson filed this lawsuit to challenge Arizona's 1901 abortion ban, which criminalized all abortions unless necessary to save a pregnant person's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest. During the litigation, the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. As a result, the Arizona Superior Court of Pima County declared the 1901 ban unconstitutional and issued an injunction. Almost fifty years later, the United States Supreme C…

On July 22, 1971, the Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson filed this lawsuit to challenge Arizona's 1901 abortion ban, which criminalized all abortions unless necessary to save a pregnant person's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest. During the litigation, the United States Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. As a result, the Arizona Superior Court of Pima County declared the 1901 ban unconstitutional and issued an injunction.

Almost fifty years later, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Jackson Women's Health Organization v. Dobbs. As a result, the Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, requested a Motion for Relief from Judgement in order to lift the injunction. On July 20, 2022, the Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson responded, arguing that lifting the injunction would be inconsistent with the abortion regulatory scheme established by the legislature in the last 50 years. The case was assigned to Judge Kellie Johnson of the Arizona Superior Court of Pima County.

After hearing oral arguments, the Court granted the Attorney General’s Motion for Relief from Judgment on September 22, 2022, as the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 had been overruled in Dobbs. 2022 WL 4487408.

In response, Planned Parenthood requested a stay on the trial court’s ruling, stating that the decision has allowed the 1901 ban to go into effect even though it conflicts with more modern regulations about abortion. As a result, Planned Parenthood argued that the trial court's decision caused confusion as to the status of abortion access in Arizona. On September 30, 2022, Judge Johnson denied this request, and Planned Parenthood appealed the decision.

On October 7, 2022, Judge Peter J. Eckerstrom of the Court of Appeals for the State of Arizona Division Two approved the Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Appeal, holding that the court has a duty to " attempt to harmonize all of this state’s relevant statutes" and that healthcare providers, prosecutors, and the public needed clarity. This effectively blocked the enforcement of the trial court’s decision to reinstate the 1901 abortion ban until the appeal is resolved, thereby allowing abortion care to resume for the time being. This case is still ongoing.

Summary Authors

Kathleen Lok (10/17/2022)

Related Cases

Jackson Women's Health Organization v. Dobbs, Southern District of Mississippi (2018)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

C127867

C1527867

Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson v. Nelson

Oct. 18, 2022

Oct. 18, 2022

Docket

C127867

Motion for Relief from Judgment

July 13, 2022

July 13, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief

C127867

Response to Defendants' Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief from Judgment

July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief

C127867

Under Advisement Ruling

Sept. 22, 2022

Sept. 22, 2022

Order/Opinion

C127867

Ruling

Sept. 30, 2022

Sept. 30, 2022

Order/Opinion

2 CA-CV 2022-0116

Order

Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc. v. Brnovich

Arizona state appellate court

Oct. 7, 2022

Oct. 7, 2022

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Oct. 3, 2022, 6:08 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Arizona

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Special Collection(s):

Planned Parenthood Litigation

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 22, 1971

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson is a non-profit service organization that provides reproductive health and family planning services.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Arizona, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1973 - 2022

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Complete abortion ban

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)

General:

Abortion

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit