Arizona is to ban nearly all abortions after its supreme court ruled a law from the Civil War-era could be enforced

It means an 1864 law criminalising abortions except when a mother’s life is at risk – with no exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest – will become enforceable.

Doctors who perform the procedure could be sentenced to between two to five years in prison.

Democrats and President Joe Biden blamed the ruling on Donald Trump, who appointed three US Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the universal right to an abortion in 2022.

Mr Biden said on X the “cruel” ban was “a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom”.

“Today’s decision to reimpose a law from a time when Arizona wasn’t a state, the Civil War was raging, and women couldn’t even vote will go down in history as a stain on our state,” said Kris Mayes, the state’s Democrat attorney general.

Fourteen other states have already banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy following the 2022 ruling that overturned the landmark Roe v Wade case.

In 1973, a lower Arizona court blocked the Civil War-era law, and in 2019 another law superseded it and instead restricted abortion after 15 weeks.

However, after Roe v Wade was overturned, a Republican attorney general pushed to end the injunction on the 1864 law, sparking a row over which law was enforceable.

In Tuesday’s 4-2 decision, Arizona’s supreme court said the current 15-week ban was “predicated entirely on the existence of a federal constitutional right to an abortion since disclaimed”.

It said there was now “no provision in federal or state law prohibiting” the 1864 ban.