Governor Katie Hobbs Signs Executive Order Protecting Reproductive Freedom in Arizona

News Release

June 26, 2023

This action occured on June 23, 2023.

Phoenix, AZ – Nearly one year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and stripped away rights from millions of Arizonans, Governor Katie Hobbs signed an Executive Order protecting reproductive freedom and bolstering Arizonans’ right to make decisions about their own bodies without interference from politicians.

“I made a promise to Arizonans that I would do everything in my power to protect reproductive freedom, and this Executive Order reflects that promise,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “I will not allow extreme and out of touch politicians to get in the way of the fundamental right Arizonans have to make decisions about their own bodies and futures. I will continue to fight to expand access to safe and legal abortion in any way that I can.”

A key component of the Executive Order from Governor Hobbs centralizes authority over abortion-related prosecutions in the Attorney General’s office, ensuring differences in interpretation or application of the law by different county attorneys do not chill, deter, or restrict access to lawful abortion care.

"In the year since the Dobbs decision, we have seen that anti-abortion extremists will stop at nothing in their attempts to impose their radical beliefs on the rest of the country," said Attorney General Kris Mayes. "Governor Hobbs' Executive Order provides important protections in Arizona on this issue — and it underscores our shared commitment to proactively defend the fundamental rights of individuals and ensure access to reproductive healthcare in Arizona. Together, we will continue to do what the voters of Arizona elected us to do — fight like hell to protect the rights of Arizonans to make their own private medical decisions without interference from extremist politicians and anti-choice groups."

"Every Arizonan should have access to basic reproductive freedoms, no matter their county," said Pima County Attorney Laura Conover. "As the Pima County Attorney, I've proudly defended access to abortions, and so have other elected leaders in my county. That is sadly not the case in all other counties. We are in a key historical moment and I applaud the Governor’s intention to ensure equal protection and access to critical health services across the State."

A summary of the provisions of the Executive Order are below:
  1. Centralizing Authority over Abortion-Related Prosecutions: Governor Hobbs is using her executive authority to direct Attorney General Kris Mayes to assume all duties over abortion-related prosecutions. 
  2. Restrictions on Investigative Assistance: Governor Hobbs is using her authority to direct state agencies not to assist in any investigations relating to providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining reproductive healthcare that would not be punishable under Arizona law unless required by a court order or Arizona or federal law.
  3. Restrictions on Extraditions: Governor Hobbs is using her executive discretion to decline extradition requests from other states seeking to prosecute individuals who provide, assist with, seek, or receive abortion services that wouldn’t otherwise be punishable under Arizona law.
  4. Advisory Council on Protecting Reproductive Freedom: Governor Hobbs establishes a Council to make recommendations that expand access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in Arizona.