Legislators in Arizona are most likely to lose their jobs over the abortion ban

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That might explain why Bolick was so quick to bail on her staunchly pro-life principles on Tuesday and call for a repeal of the 1864 abortion ban.
“The first step is to repeal the territorial law.” What Bolick didn’t mention was that she supported that territorial abortion ban just two years ago.
Gress wasn’t in the Legislature in 2022 when his fellow Republicans voted to keep that territorial law on the books.
And like Bolick, he voted for that 2022 abortion bill that kept the 1864 law on the books.
Add in a flock motivated voters pouring out to protect abortion rights via the Arizona Abortion Access Act and Mesnard could have have trouble.
The Great GOP Abortion Retreat:Is in full effect Shope is going to have to explain why he voted for a 15-week ban that expressly left that territorial abortion ban on the books.
All three are members of the Arizona Freedom Caucus, which supports the 1864 abortion ban.
She hasn’t said anything publicly about the 1864 ban.

NEUTRAL

As we enter the year of our Lord 1864, I see Sen. Shawnna Bolick inhaled through a paper bag.

Republicans in the Arizona Legislature were already bracing themselves for a fistfight to maintain their one-vote advantage in each chamber. But with the resurgence this week of an almost complete prohibition on abortion?

Let’s just say that the Republican Party of Arizona needs to stock up on paper towels.

These are the Republicans who ought to be in a panic right now.

1) Sen. Phoenix R-Phoenix Shawnna Bolick.

Bolick was appointed to her position last year, and since then, she has been up against Democratic Rep. Judy Schwiebert in the highly competitive race in the northwest Valley.

This could potentially clarify why Bolick quickly abandoned her deeply held pro-life beliefs on Tuesday and advocated for the lifting of the 1864 abortion prohibition.

“It is time for my legislative colleagues to find common ground of common sense, especially in light of today’s Arizona Supreme Court ruling upholding Arizona’s 1864 territorial abortion ban,” she stated on social media a few hours after the court’s announcement. First things first, the territorial law must be repealed. “.

Bolick omitted to mention that, just two years prior, she had backed the territorial abortion ban.

Barely two months before Roe v. Wade, in March 2022, Bolick was a member of the House when the 15-week abortion law was approved on a party-line vote. Wade was declared invalid. Republicans were careful to make it clear in that new 15-week law that it did not, in any way, repeal section 13-3603. “.

The 1864 law, ARS 13-3603, stipulates that a doctor performing an abortion, unless his patient is dying, faces a prison sentence ranging from two to five years.

Considering that Bolick’s spouse, Clint, was one of the four justices on the Supreme Court that brought back the 160-year-old statute, Bolick appears to be a one-term senator.

2: Rep. Matt Gress, the Phoenix radio host.

One of the first Republicans to criticize the Supreme Court’s decision was Gress, who represents one of the most competitive districts in the state. On Wednesday, he attempted to orchestrate a speedy repeal of the 19th-century prohibition, but his fellow Republicans quickly rushed to adjourn, blocking him.

When his fellow Republicans voted in 2022 to uphold that territorial law, Gress was not a member of the legislature.

However, he introduced a number of bills in 2023 that seemed to be an attempt to pass a fetal personhood law, which would have made abortion illegal.

Gress disputes this, arguing that the bills were primarily intended to protect women. They would strengthen the penalties for domestic violence against pregnant women, permit pregnant drivers to use the HOV lane, and allow child support and tax credits during pregnancy.

As if his political life now depended on his fellow Republicans repealing the 19th-century law, expect Gress to keep pressuring them to do so.

since it most likely does.

Rep. 3, please. R-Phoenix Justin Wilmeth.

Wilmeth represents a swing district in the northwest Valley, much like Bolick. He also voted in favor of the 2022 abortion bill that preserved the 1864 law, just like Bolick did.

Given that Democrats oddly fielded just one opponent in the contest for two House seats, he might have gotten lucky. However, there is an independent involved as well.

Despite his statement on his website that he has “voted pro-life 100% of the time,” Wilmeth has not said anything since Tuesday’s decision. “.

Wilmeth might win in an election where irate voters show up in large numbers to support incorporating abortion into the state constitution.

4: Rep. Julie Willoughby, R.C.

After Rep. was removed from office last year, Willoughby was appointed. Liz Harris. However, the Chandler district is bipolar. (Avoid thinking in such a narrow-minded manner. ).

The fact that the other Republican in the race is a former representative could work in her favor. Jeff Weninger voted in favor of keeping the 1864 law in place, as did every other Republican that year.

5: Sen. H. D. Chandler, R. Mesnard.

Additionally, Mesnard voted in favor of keeping the 1864 territorial law in effect in 2022. He is currently a candidate for reelection in the state’s most competitive legislative district.

Mesnard might have had difficulties if he had not taken into account the horde of motivated voters who flocked to support abortion rights through the Arizona Abortion Access Act.

Sixth: Sen. TT. J. Shope of Coolidge.

Shope was among the first to demand the repeal of the 1864 law, along with Bolick and Gress.

“Today’s ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court, which has disregarded our legislative intent, is disappointing to say the least and reinstates an Arizona Territorial-era ban on all abortions from more than 150 years ago,” he wrote.

He neglected to acknowledge his own part in taking us back a few centuries, just like Bolick did.

The GOP’s Great Abortion Retreat is now fully underway.

Shope will be required to provide an explanation for his vote in favor of a 15-week ban that specifically preserved the territorial abortion ban. And why after the Roe v. He didn’t try to have Wade removed from the books after it was overturned.

That is, if a 15-week ban was the intended outcome at all times.

Seventh: Teresa Martinez, Casa Grande R.

As with all Republicans who reside in swing districts, Martinez has a lot of spinning to do. She voted in 2022 to uphold the 1864 statute.

She abstained from voting to repeal the 1864 law on Wednesday, just like every other House Republican with the exception of Gress.

“We would prefer to have a discussion before repealing the pre-Roe law,” she stated during a floor speech.

Abortionists who perform an abortion on anyone other than a dying woman face prison sentences under a law that dates back to the 19th century.

What is there to talk about, I wonder?

8–10: Sen. Representatives and Justine Wadsack. Cory McCarr and Rachel Jones, both Republicans from Tucson.

When Republicans announced their intention to maintain the territorial abortion ban in 2022, none of these three hard-right lawmakers were present in the legislature. That year, however, they were not victorious in any of their races.

Their district should be competitive this year given that we are currently living in the 19th century.

Arizona Freedom Caucus, which backs the 1864 abortion ban, is where all three of them are members. Jones and McCarr have both expressed their support, but Wadsack appears to be keeping quiet.

Since Democrats fielded just one candidate for each of the two House seats, it is likely that all three will return. One other Republican is competing as well. ).

Some other candidates who might be chewing their fingernails.

Rep. Running for the vacant Senate seat in what is now, by 19th century standards, a competitive district is Kevin Payne, a Republican from Peoria. He also voted in favor of keeping the 1864 law in effect in 2022.

Rep. Given that she is a Republican serving a district that leans heavily Democratic, Michele Pena, R-Yuma, was already in danger. The fact that local GOP party activists disapproved of her last year and deemed her unfit to hold office due to her vote to remove the now-ex-Rep. Liz Harris. She hasn’t discussed the 1864 ban in public.

Laurie Roberts can be reached at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her at @LaurieRoberts on X, the former Twitter.

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