Liberty Counsel Files Brief Supporting 159-Year-Old Arizona Abortion Law

May 22, 2023

PHOENIX, AZ – Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief to the Arizona Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Mayes where Planned Parenthood is challenging the potential reinstatement of the state's near-total abortion ban from 1864, which has exceptions for life-threatening emergencies, but had been blocked by 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

After Roe’s overturning in June of last year, an Arizona appeals court evaluated the Civil War-era ban and denied the law from retaking effect favoring a more recent and less restrictive 15-week ban currently in place. Liberty Counsel’s brief supports reinstating the original 1864 law. 

In September 2022, the Arizona Superior Court appointed Dr. Eric Hazelrigg, an obstetrician and medical director of Choices Pregnancy Center in Arizona, as the “guardian ad litem” in this case where he can legally represent the best interests of unborn babies in the state. He has petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court decision and reinstate the 1864 near-total abortion ban to protect unborn lives.

Liberty Counsel filed the amicus brief on behalf of the Arizona Life Coalition, the Frederick Douglass Foundation and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference which have a strong interest in exposing the racist and eugenic history of the abortion movement that has had catastrophic effects on their communities and other vulnerable populations. These organizations also have a strong interest in defending state laws like Arizona’s 159-year-old abortion ban to protect unborn minority and disabled children from social eugenic policies.

Liberty Counsel’s amicus brief states, “Abortion is the modern-day offspring of eugenics. Margaret Sanger and the early abortion movement promoted abortion to reduce populations they considered lesser than White or fully able Americans…Now, the abortion industry denies that all human beings have inherent value and dignity bestowed on them by their Creator, and has indisputably targeted Black, Hispanic, and disabled communities for reduction.” 

For 50 years, Margaret Sanger, a nurse and activist, worked to open contraception clinics in minority neighborhoods and her efforts eventually evolved into the Planned Parenthood movement. Sanger shared the same worldview of eugenics as Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler, and she saw abortion as tools to help accomplish population control and to weed out the “undesirable” races and people to evolve a better human race. 

Fueled by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the movement planted abortion facilities in black and brown neighborhoods to eliminate these races and carry on its racist eugenic objectives. Planned Parenthood—the largest abortion provider in the United States—has continued its founder Margaret Sanger’s legacy of eliminating or preventing unborn children based on race, sex, and disability. 

The brief continued stating, “The links between abortion and racist eugenics are manifold. In promoting birth control, Sanger advanced a ‘Negro Project,’ gave a speech to the Ku Klux Klan, and advocated eugenic breeding for ‘the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks—those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.’ She personally set up birth-control facilities in minority communities.” 

In the brief, Liberty Counsel presents the fact that Planned Parenthood has now intentionally located 86 percent of its abortion clinics in or near minority neighborhoods in the 25 U.S. counties with the most abortions.

The brief further states, “The vast majority of abortions before 15 weeks kill disabled and minority infants. Abortion is in direct conflict with the Arizona Constitution’s guarantee of the right to life.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Abortion harms women physically and emotionally and kills defenseless children in the womb. Abortion is also a tool of modern-day eugenics rooted in racism to eliminate certain races and people. Arizona’s pre-Roe abortion ban will protect countless women and innocent unborn lives. The people of Arizona deserve to have their laws enforced and now it’s up to the Arizona Supreme Court to do the right thing and protect virtually all unborn life in the state.”

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