Frequently Asked Questions

Arizona Law

Is abortion legal in Arizona? 

Yes, under certain circumstances and subject to certain limitations. You can find an overview of the current state of the law under Arizona Abortion Laws. Right now, Arizonans can continue to access abortion care (including medication abortion) up to 15 weeks gestational age, or later in cases of medical emergency.

If you believe you may need abortion care, you should contact a licensed medical professional as soon as possible to get answers to your questions and understand your treatment options. 

This website will be updated promptly if anything changes about the current legal status of abortions in Arizona. 

What is the current status of the Arizona Supreme Court ruling on abortion and when does the new law repealing the 1864 ban take effect?

On April 9, 2024, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the 1864 near-total abortion ban is enforceable. On May 13, 2024, the Arizona Supreme Court granted the Attorney General’s motion to temporarily stay the mandate (the final order in the case), which effectively paused the ability to enforce the 1864 ban. 

Meanwhile, on May 2, 2024, the Legislature passed and Governor Katie Hobbs signed H.B. 2677, which repealed the 1864 ban. That repeal will take effect on September 14, 2024, which is the 91st day after the Legislature adjourned on June 15, 2024. So long as current court orders remain in place, that repeal will take effect before the 1864 ban can be enforced, meaning that the 1864 ban will not take effect in Arizona.
 

Is birth control legal in Arizona? 

Yes. Birth control is legal. Importantly, Arizona’s definition of “abortion” does not include birth control devices (like IUDs); or oral contraceptives that inhibit or prevent ovulation, or which inhibit or prevent conception or the implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterus (like birth control or the “morning after” pill).

In addition, under Arizona law, pharmacists can provide contraceptives to patients who are 18 and older without a doctor’s prescription. However, Arizonans should know that pharmacies are not required to participate in this new program, and not all are. It’s best to call in advance and ask if your pharmacist is able to dispense birth control without a prescription.

You can find more information about the process for seeking contraceptives without a prescription on the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

You can read the Department’s standing order that implements this new law.

Is the “morning after” pill legal in Arizona? 

Yes. Under Arizona law, oral contraceptives like the “morning after” pill, which inhibit or prevent contraception or the implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterus, are not abortion drugs, and taking them is not an abortion.

What is mifepristone, and is it legal in Arizona? 

Mifepristone is an abortion medication. There are two types of abortions: surgical abortions and medication abortions. There are several different drugs that are used for medication abortions worldwide.

In the United States, many healthcare providers prescribe a two-drug protocol for a medication abortion. Mifepristone is the first drug. It blocks the hormone progesterone in the uterus, causing changes in the uterus so the pregnancy cannot continue. Misoprostol is the second drug, and it is taken within 48 hours after taking the mifepristone, as directed by a medical provider. It causes the uterus to empty. 

The brand-name of mifepristone is “Mifeprex.” Mifeprex was first approved by the FDA in 2000, and the FDA approved the first generic form of mifepristone in 2019. Misoprostol was originally approved for reducing the risk of ulcers, but it’s long been prescribed “off-label” for several gynecological uses, including for miscarriage and abortion care.

The FDA allows healthcare providers to prescribe drugs “off-label,” meaning for a different use than the one they were approved for, when that drug is medically appropriate and consistent with the standard of care.  Medical providers often prescribe drugs for off-label uses. 

Medication abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol is currently a legal method of abortion care in Arizona. However, it is possible mifepristone’s availability could change depending on how several court cases are resolved.

Can I order abortion medication through the mail? 

No. Arizona law prohibits manufacturers, suppliers, physicians, and anyone else from providing abortion medication to someone through a courier, delivery, or mail service. 

Can I get an abortion if I’m under 18? 

Under current Arizona law, minors can get abortion care under one of two circumstances.

First, minors can get an abortion if they have the written and notarized consent of one of their parents or their guardian or conservator.

Second, minors can get an abortion if they go through something called “judicial bypass,” where a judge authorizes a physician to perform the abortion without the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

Minors seeking abortion care should contact licensed medical providers to understand their treatment options and get recommendations about how to navigate the legal judicial bypass process, if necessary. 

Are abortion clinics and providers regulated? 

Yes. Abortion clinics and providers are regulated and subject to licensing and other requirements in order to provide care.   

Doctors that provide abortion care are overseen by the Arizona Medical Board

Clinics that provide abortion care are overseen by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Where can I find Arizona’s abortion laws? 

You can find a brief overview of current Arizona law under Arizona Abortion Laws.

Most of Arizona’s abortion statutes are in Title 13 (Chapter 36) and Title 36 (Chapters 4, 20, and 23) of Arizona’s Revised Statutes.

You can read through statutes in Title 13 here.

You can read through statutes inTitle 36 here.

Privacy

How do I protect my privacy when I’m looking for abortion care? 

In today’s digital world, information can be collected from people’s online and offline activities, including location, web browsing history, searches and purchases. In the reproductive health care space in particular, data privacy has become a concern for those seeking care.

The Attorney General’s Office released a Consumer Alert and Data Privacy Guidance for patients looking for ways to better manage their data and control their digital footprint, including when they are seeking reproductive healthcare. 

You can find that guidance under Consumer Alerts or read it here

Does HIPAA protect all of my data and information about reproductive health? 

Not all of it, no. 

HIPAA is a federal law that protects certain kinds of information and applies to “Covered Entities” and the “business associates” of those Covered Entities. Covered Entities include health plans (like health insurance companies, HMOs, Medicare, and Medicaid); most healthcare providers; and healthcare clearinghouses. Business associates include companies that help doctors get paid, or outside lawyers and accountants. 

Although other federal and state laws may extend similar protections in other areas, HIPAA itself does not necessarily apply whenever you communicate personal health information. For example, HIPAA itself does not apply to life insurers or employers. 

Bottom line, you should not assume that any and all health-related information that you disclose to people other than your medical providers is protected as private.  You should consult with your medical providers and ask how your information will be protected. 

You can also learn more about your rights under HIPAA at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If I have an abortion, will the doctor or clinic notify my spouse or partner?  

No. Unless you authorize the doctor or clinic to release that information to your spouse or partner.  But that decision is up to you—you are not legally required to tell your spouse or partner about your decision to seek abortion care. However, if you use insurance to pay for your visit, your spouse or partner may be able to see what services were performed on your billing or insurance paperwork. Talk to your provider if you have concerns. They may have ways to protect your privacy. In addition, be sure to review any forms concerning the release or sharing of your information carefully, and ask questions if you are unclear on what you are being asked to sign.

 

Disclaimers

This website is not intended to be legal advice and creates no attorney-client relationship between readers and the Attorney General’s Office. This website is not an exhaustive explanation of all abortion-related information and does not provide medical advice. Patients should always consult with licensed medical providers to answer their questions. The law is in flux and may change; this website will be updated as reasonably appropriate to reflect relevant developments in the law.