Protesters hold signs reading "Arizona for Abortion Access"

The Fight To Protect Abortion in Arizona Just Had a Huge Win

The efforts continue to repeal an 1860s handmaids-y ban.

The impact of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade continues to be vast and horrifying. That impact is currently wreaking havoc in the state of Arizona.

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Arizona’s Supreme Court recently ruled that an 1860s law banning abortion is enforceable. This law essentially says that abortion providers can be punished with two to five years in prison. It also bans abortions in almost every circumstance except for the life of the mother. (Although we are forever seeing how dangerously vague that definition is.) This made Arizona one of the strictest states on this issue in the entire country. But, there may be hope! 

Last week, Arizona’s state Senate introduced a bill that would repeal this ancient and ridiculous ban. Depressingly, the vote to advance was super close, 16–14. The GOP controls the legislature but two Republicans, T.J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick, voted alongside the Democrats to help pass the measure.

Today, the state’s House of Representatives voted to repeal the abortion ban. This is a reversal for the GOP-controlled House, who just last week blocked the repeal, voting to not even discuss the bill on the floor.

But not every Republican was a fan of the court’s ruling, at least outwardly. Even Trump-loving extremist Kari Lake said that she hoped the legislature could work with Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, to find a “moderate” approach to fixing this abortion ban and its effects. This shows that even Republicans know that they are losing on the abortion issue. Most Americans do not want the extreme bans that we are seeing across the country. They want autonomy over their own bodies, and that includes the freedom of abortion access.

In addition to being morally reprehensible, denying people that freedom has proven time and again to be a losing stance at the ballot box. We’re seeing more Republicans try to skirt this issue or change positions flat-out because they know that their views are not popular. I think many Republicans may choose to just try and ignore the abortion issue completely as we go deeper into the 2024 elections but in a case like Arizona, where the entire state’s population is thrust back into the 1860s, it’s pretty impossible to avoid.

The House’s bill will now head to the Arizona Senate. If those two Republicans hold fast and vote with Democrats on this bill (which seems to be identical to the Senate bill from last week), it will then head to the governor’s desk, and Hobbs has already said she’ll sign it.

If and when that happens, the state will still have an abortion ban on the books, limiting abortion care to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. But at least it’s better than the version written 160 years ago.

(featured image: Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)


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