Arizona Lawmakers Vote to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban

( – When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, it sent the rights to establish abortion laws back to the states. In Arizona, the legislature had a bill waiting to go into effect, a 15-week ban. However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle sought clarification as to which law — the 15-week ban or an 1864 law that was codified in 1901 and 1913 — to follow. That case went all the way to the state’s Supreme Court, which ruled the 1864 law, which was created before Arizona even gained statehood, took precedence. Now, the state legislature has voted to repeal the ban.

There has been a battle in the Arizona state legislature, which immediately dove into action following its Supreme Court ruling. While previous measures to repeal the ban were unsuccessful, they finally gained some ground on Wednesday, April 24, in a 32-28 vote in the lower chamber. Three House Republicans broke rank and sided with Democrats amid cries from GOP members that abortion is equivalent to murder.

The vote to repeal is now set to head to the state Senate, which is expected to take it up in quick fashion. It’s also expected to pass in the upper chamber, as two GOP senators reportedly support the repeal. Governor Katie Hobbs (D) has promised to sign the repeal if it hits her desk.

Both congressional chambers hold a thin Republican majority. If it should fail in the Arizona Senate, and there were no subsequent measures, the 1864 law would go into effect on June 8. It is a near-total ban that makes one single exception: when the woman’s life is in danger.

The House’s vote drew a measure of mixed reactions. House Speaker Ben Toma (R) seemed to be surprised, saying he didn’t “know what happened here,” and stressing he was “done.” Republican state Representative Alexander Kolodin said he was “disgusted” and “disappointed” that the measure passed. Democrats, such as state Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, said the move was “a step in the right direction.”

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