Arizona’s Democratic leaders make final push to repeal 19th century abortion ban


In Arizona, Democratic lawmakers are making a final effort to repeal the state’s long-standing ban on almost all abortions. This move comes after a recent court ruling suggested that the ban could be enforced, potentially leading to legal consequences for doctors and others involved in the procedure. With the support of Governor Katie Hobbs, Democrats aim to overturn the restrictive law and replace it with more modern regulations.

Arizona’s ban on nearly all abortions dates back to before the state’s official statehood. The law only permits abortions to save the life of the patient and does not provide exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The state’s Supreme Court recently indicated that doctors could face prosecution under this law, which carries severe penalties of up to five years in prison for those involved in performing abortions.

Democratic lawmakers in the Arizona Legislature, along with Governor Hobbs, are leading the charge to repeal the outdated ban. The repeal bill narrowly passed the Arizona House and is now up for final approval in the Senate. Democrats are hopeful that they can secure enough votes, including from some Republicans, to pass the bill and move forward with modernizing Arizona’s abortion laws.

If the repeal bill is signed into law, Arizona’s prevailing abortion law would shift to a statute banning the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. However, there may be a period during which nearly all abortions would be outlawed as the repeal won’t take effect immediately. It is expected to come into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, likely in June or July.

Arizona’s Attorney General, Kris Mayes, opposes the enforcement of the 19th-century ban and has sought to delay its implementation. While there is uncertainty surrounding the timeline for enforcement, advocates continue to push for the repeal to ensure access to safe and legal abortions in the state.

Planned Parenthood officials have pledged to continue providing abortions for as long as they are legal in Arizona. Additionally, efforts are underway to reinforce networks that assist patients in traveling out of state to access abortion services if needed.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Arizona are considering their next steps regarding abortion legislation. Advocates are collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would allow abortions up to 24 weeks with exceptions, while Republicans are exploring various proposals, including bans at different stages of pregnancy.

The push to repeal Arizona’s nearly all abortion ban reflects ongoing efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to healthcare services. As lawmakers navigate the complex legal and political landscape surrounding abortion, the outcome of these efforts will have significant implications for individuals’ rights and freedoms in the state.


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