Repeal of the abortion law will be considered by the Legislature

CBS News

Arizona lawmakers seemed poised on Wednesday to repeal an abortion ban that first became law when Abraham Lincoln was president and a half-century before women won the right to vote.
The expected vote in the Arizona State Senate could be the culmination of a fevered effort to repeal the law that has made abortion a central focus of Arizona’s politics.
The issue has galvanized Democratic voters and energized a campaign to put an abortion-rights ballot measure before Arizona voters in November.
Democrats tried twice to force a repeal bill to a vote in the Republican-controlled state Legislature, only to be blocked by conservative lawmakers.
Then last week, three Republican members of the Arizona House joined with every Democrat in the chamber and voted to repeal the 1864 ban, sending it to the Arizona Senate for final approval.
Other Republican-controlled states, like Florida and Texas, have veered in the opposite direction by passing laws sharply curtailing abortion access.
Even if the repeal passes on Wednesday, abortions in Arizona will still be limited by a host of restrictions, including a 2022 law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.
“We still have extreme abortion bans on the books,” said State Senator Priya Sundareshan, a Tucson lawmaker who is a co-chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

NEUTRAL

Legislators in Arizona appeared prepared on Wednesday to overturn an abortion prohibition that was initially enacted during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, fifty years before women were granted the right to vote.

The anticipated vote in the Arizona State Senate may mark the end of a fervent attempt to overturn the legislation that has elevated abortion to the forefront of Arizona politics.

Democratic voters have been enthused by the issue, and a campaign to put an abortion-rights ballot measure before Arizona voters in November has gained momentum. It caused a rift on the right between Republicans concerned about potential political backlash over their support for a nearly complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and anti-abortion activists who want to maintain the status quo.

The State Supreme Court’s Republican-appointed justices declared three weeks ago that the ban could now be implemented due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, igniting an election-year controversy surrounding the decades-old 1864 statute. Wade.

Conservative legislators blocked Democratic attempts twice to bring a repeal bill to a vote in the state legislature, which is controlled by Republicans. Tense scenes played out inside the State Capitol, where anti-abortion activists packed the chambers with prayers to defend the law, and Democratic lawmakers yelled at Republicans, “Shame!”.

Subsequently, last week, all fifty-seven Democrats and three Republican members of the Arizona House voted to lift the 1864 ban, sending it to the Arizona Senate for ultimate sanction.

Two state senators, T. Republican. I. J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick declared their support for doing away with the law. Most lawmakers anticipate that the repeal will pass on Wednesday and be signed by the governor. The Democrat Katie Hobbs.

In a desperate attempt to persuade reluctant lawmakers to change their minds, anti-abortion activists announced that they would be staging a demonstration outside the Capitol on Wednesday morning and that they intended to cram the State Senate’s public gallery.

Abortion opponents expressed concern that other states with legislatures controlled by Republicans might now decide to emulate Arizona’s actions.

Chanel Prunier, the vice president of political affairs for Students for Life Action, said in a statement prior to the scheduled vote that “this blueprint of irresponsibility and cowardice will be emulated across the nation by other opportunistic Republicans who gladly wear the pro-life cape for donor dollars but stab the movement in the back when it’s time to act.”.

The right to an abortion was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022, but voters in red states like Ohio and Kansas approved ballot measures protecting the procedure. Some Republican-controlled states, such as Texas and Florida, have taken a different tack and passed legislation severely restricting access to abortion.

A number of restrictions, including a 2022 law that forbids abortions beyond 15 weeks, will continue to limit abortions in Arizona even if the repeal is approved on Wednesday. There are no exclusions for rape or incest under that law.

Priya Sundareshan, a state senator from Tucson and co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, stated, “We still have extreme abortion bans on the books.”.

In November, Democrats are hoping that the fury surrounding the 1864 ban will spur voters to support President Biden and the ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion rights in Arizona’s Constitution.

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