Arizona Abortion Laws

On May 2, 2024, H.B. 2677 was signed, repealing the 1864 near-total abortion ban. However, this repeal does not take effect until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. But in the meantime, enforcement of the 1864-era ban is stayed by court orders until at least September 26, 2024.

The laws summarized below are the laws that are currently in place and will continue to control once the repeal of the 1864 territorial ban is effective.

The Attorney General’s Office is evaluating all legal options to prevent the 1864 territorial ban from going into effect. If the 1864 ban does go into effect, the Attorney General’s Office will provide additional guidance. Bookmark this page for continued updates or sign up for email updates. 

If you’re seeking reproductive healthcare and wondering what’s legal in Arizona, you’re not alone. The law can be confusing and change quickly.

Arizonans should understand three key points.

One. Abortion—including medication abortion—is currently legal in Arizona under certain circumstances and subject to certain restrictions.

Two. The law is in flux. Because of ongoing court cases and legislative action, there is a possibility that whether, when, and how abortion is legal in Arizona might change in the future.

Three. Arizona has many regulations on abortion care.


Understand the current law in Arizona.

This area of the law is complicated and often changing, but the major points can be summarized as follows. 

Under current Arizona law: 

  • The term “abortion” refers to “the use of any means to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will cause, with reasonable likelihood, the death of the unborn child.” A.R.S. § 36-2151. 
  • The legal definition of “abortion” does not include:
    • birth control devices (for example: IUDs); 
    • oral contraceptives that inhibit or prevent ovulation (for example: birth control pills);
    • oral contraceptives that inhibit or prevent conception or the implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterus (for example: “morning after pills” or “Plan B”); 
    • or any means used to terminate an ectopic pregnancy or remove a deceased fetus. For example, if you have a miscarriage and the doctor performs a surgical procedure to remove the deceased fetus, that is not an abortion.
    • Because these procedures and medications do not fall within the definition of “abortion” under Arizona law, regulations and restrictions on “abortion” do not apply to any of them.
  • Doctors can perform abortions up to 15 weeks gestational age. “Gestational age” means the age of the fetus, as calculated from the first day of the patient’s last menstrual period.
  • At any point in the pregnancy, including after 15 weeks, abortion is legal if a doctor determines that there is a medical emergency. “Medical emergency” is defined by State law in this context to mean a situation where immediate abortion care is necessary to avoid the patient’s death, or when delaying abortion care will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.
  • Arizona law also makes it illegal for doctors to perform abortions for certain impermissible reasons – for example, if the abortion is sought because of the sex or race or the fetus.
  • Abortion can be performed surgically or with medication. 
  • The medication abortion drug mifepristone remains legal in Arizona.
  • Arizona law does not have exceptions for rape or incest. That means if you become pregnant by a rapist or blood relative and would like to get an abortion, you must do so before the gestational age of the fetus exceeds 15 weeks. An abortion after 15 weeks is legal only if a doctor determines that there is a medical emergency, as explained above. 

Understand that the law is in flux and might change.

Several of Arizona’s abortion laws, as well as some federal laws, are being litigated in the courts right now, so the law might change in the coming months and years. 

You can read more about some of these cases, but here are some of the issues that are not yet permanently settled:

  • The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a 1864 territorial ban on abortions is enforceable. The earliest the 1864 territorial abortion ban may take effect is September 26, 2024. The Office is evaluating all legal options in response to that decision.
    • Following this ruling, on May 2, 2024, Governor Katie Hobbs signed H.B. 2677, repealing the 1864 ban. However, this repeal does not take effect until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. But in the meantime, enforcement of the 1864-era ban is stayed by court orders until at least September 26, 2024. This page will be updated as information changes.   
  • In two different federal cases, the legality of mifepristone and how it can be used are being litigated. Arizona law already has restrictions on abortion medication. But those federal cases might ultimately make mifepristone unavailable or limit how it can be used, which could affect access in Arizona.
  • Arizona law makes it a crime for a doctor to knowingly perform an abortion that is sought solely because of a genetic abnormality of the fetus. The meaning and application of that law is not clear and it is still being litigated in court.

Bookmark this page for continued updates or sign up for email updates.


Understand how Arizona regulates abortion

Even “legal” abortions in Arizona are highly regulated.

For the most part, these laws impose obligations on medical providers, not patients. But having some awareness of what to expect when you seek care may give you some peace of mind, or help you think about what questions you want to ask to providers as you consider the options available to you. Here are some examples of how Arizona law regulates abortion as of today.

  • In-person notices. At least twenty-four hours before the abortion, a medical provider (as specified under the statute) must tell the patient certain information in person.  A.R.S. § 36-2153. Some, but not all, of the information the provider is legally required to tell the patient includes:
    • “The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics” of the fetus when the abortion is scheduled to be performed.
    • “The nature of the proposed procedure or treatment.”
    • “The immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the procedure that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether or not to undergo the abortion.”
    • The medical risks of continuing with the pregnancy.
    • And that the biological father of the fetus “is liable to assist in the support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for the abortion.”
  • Ultrasound.  At least twenty-four hours before the abortion, the patient must undergo an ultrasound and be offered the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image and hear an explanation of what the ultrasound shows. A.R.S. § 36-2156.
  • Physician-only requirement.  Only licensed physicians can perform surgical abortions.  A.R.S. §§ 36-2153, 36-2155, 32-2531.
  • Medication abortion restrictions.  Medication abortion may be provided only by a qualified physician. And it cannot be provided through a courier, delivery or mail service.  A.R.S. § 36-2160.
  • Parental consent requirements.  A physician cannot perform an abortion for a minor without either (1) the written and notarized consent of one of the minor’s parents or the minor’s guardian, or (2) authorization from a judge on the Arizona Superior Court (through a process called “judicial bypass”).  A.R.S. § 36-2152. 
  • Licensure and reporting requirements.  Abortion providers and clinics are subject to a number of requirements, including that providers must have admitting privileges, and they must record and report certain information about the abortions they perform.  A.R.S. §§ 36-449.02, 36-449.03, 36-2161, 36-2162.
    • Importantly, although the hospital or facility that performed the abortion is required to report certain information, the hospital or facility is legally prohibited from identifying the patient’s name or any other information that would make it possible to identify the patient who sought or obtained an abortion.



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.