Arizona Senate Sends Bill To Governor’s Desk Repealing Near-Total Abortion Ban

Arizona lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday repealing a law from the 1800s that outlaws nearly all abortions in the state, according to The New York Times.

The state Supreme Court ruled in April that the law should be allowed to go into effect, meaning that performing an abortion would be punishable by a felony charge of up to five years in prison, with a limited exception to save the life of the mother. The state Senate narrowly passed a bill that would repeal the law entirely, and Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs is expected to sign it into law, according to the NYT.

Two Republican state senators, T.J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick, joined Democrats to garner the needed 16 votes to pass, according to the Associated Press. It took three attempts by Arizona Democrats in the state House of Representatives to get enough Republicans on board to pass the bill onto the state senate last month.

If signed, the bill will put abortion restrictions back to a previous law banning the procedure around 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Opponents of the bill reacted with disappointment at the lawmakers’ decision, with pro-life law firm Alliance Defending Freedom reaffirming their desire to “advocate for real support and real healthcare for women, families, and unborn children.”

“The repeal of Arizona’s pro-life law is deeply disappointing. Life is our most fundamental human right. Government officials—especially those who have promised to affirm life—should do everything they can to protect unborn children,” the group said in a statement. “Life is a human right, and it always will be. This doesn’t stop being true because of the actions of some of those in office. We commend those who stood their ground to protect the lives of our most vulnerable Arizonans, and we will continue to do everything we can to advocate for real support and real healthcare for women, families, and unborn children here and across the country.”

Bolick said that the vote was in part to fend off Planned Parenthood’s attempt to get an abortion amendment passed this October, according to the NYT.

“We should be pushing for the maximum protection for unborn children that can be sustained,” Bolick said. “I side with saving more babies’ lives.”

Abortion supporters are working to place a proposal on the ballot that, if passed, would enshrine abortion as a right up to the point of viability, roughly considered to be around 24 weeks, according to Axios. Republicans in the state are considering introducing their own ballot initiatives to counter the amendment.

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