Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs criticized the state Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate a 160-year-old law that prohibits nearly all abortions.

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. The NCAA women’s basketball tournament has now surpassed the men’s, Jessica Alba is stepping down as chief creative officer of The Honest Company, and Arizona reinstates a 160-year-old abortion ban. Take care on Wednesday.

– Back to the books. The Arizona Supreme Court declared Monday that a 160-year-old near-total abortion prohibition is, in fact, legal. The surprising verdict differs from the other prohibitions we’ve seen since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022; rather than relying on a “trigger law” or fresh legislation, this one revives a law from 1864—48 years before Arizona became a state in the United States.

Arizona’s law, which was codified in 1901, criminalizes practically all abortions in the state and was never overturned following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, allowing a court to reinstate it yesterday. It makes only one exception for the mother’s life, which makes it impossible for physicians to rely on in practice, and also carries criminal penalties, including two- to five-year prison sentences for providers. Previously, Arizona had a 15-week abortion prohibition, which, while limited, provided access during the time when the majority of abortions occur. The court’s judgment permits 14 days until the law takes effect to enable for lower court challenges.

What scares me the most about this decision is what it implies for abortion rights across the country. If Arizona’s highest court can rule that a law that predates the state still applies to its 7.4 million citizens in 2024, would federal politicians do the same? The Comstock Act, an 1873 anti-obscene law that might be read as prohibiting nearly all abortions, is a looming issue in the debate over modifying abortion regulation. Abortion opponents have stated that they want to utilize it in their efforts to restrict the procedure nationwide. This Slate article discusses the Comstock Act and its importance in federal anti-abortion tactics.

READ MORE: The Government Has Banned 18 OTT Platforms, Including Yessma, For Airing Filthy And Vulgar Content

Former President Donald Trump, whose views on abortion have shifted dramatically during his life and political career, recently stated that abortion will be “left to the states,” which some read as a rejection of a national abortion ban. However, what is happening at the local level has implications for what could happen at the national level with a potential GOP administration next year.

Arizona’s Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs described the court’s judgment as “unacceptable” and a “dark day” for Arizonans. Despite the fact that the legislation exists, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has promised not to prosecute abortion doctors or patients. After all, Mayes stated that the rule dates back to a time when “the Civil War was raging, and women couldn’t even vote.” This time, at least, women have the right to vote—and Arizona voters will most likely be able to express their views on abortion on the November ballot.