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Arizona House Passes Bill to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban After Two Previous Attempts Failed

On third attempt, Arizona House finally passes bill to repeal 1864 abortion ban

After facing two previous setbacks, the Arizona House achieved success on Wednesday by passing a bill aimed at repealing a near-total abortion ban dating back to 1864. This historical move came after the state Supreme Court’s recent revival of the ban, sparking significant controversy and prompting legislative action.

The bill’s passage in the House was a narrow victory, with three Republicans crossing party lines to join Democratic representatives in supporting the repeal effort. Arizona Democrats have been actively advocating for the repeal of the antiquated ban, particularly following the state Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld its enforceability earlier in April.

The revival of the 1864 ban stirred national debate and criticism, even from notable figures within the Republican Party like former President Donald Trump, who deemed it excessively extreme. This event underscored the stark contrast in abortion views between conservative lawmakers and a significant portion of the electorate, particularly in battleground states such as Arizona.

Arizona House Passes Bill to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban After Two Previous Attempts Failed

Arizona House Passes Bill to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban After Two Previous Attempts Failed (Credits: NBC News)

Despite widespread backlash and pressure from voters, some Republican representatives remained steadfast in their opposition to the repeal during the House debate. Representative Alexander Kolodin’s assertion that the repeal equated to “killing infants” misrepresented the nature of the discussion, conflating fetuses with infants. Notably, if the 1864 ban is repealed, Arizona’s previous 15-week abortion ban would be reinstated.

The next hurdle for the repeal bill lies in the state Senate, where Republicans also hold a slim majority. Democratic senators will need support from at least two GOP colleagues to secure passage. Although the Senate has been advancing its own repeal efforts, a vote on the House’s measure might not occur until May 1 at the earliest, according to legislative sources cited by The Washington Post.

With the near-total ban not scheduled to take effect until June 8 at the earliest, there is still time for further legislative action. Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has pledged to sign the repeal bill into law if it reaches her desk, urging the Senate to follow suit.

Additionally, she encouraged Arizonans to express their views through the upcoming November elections, which could potentially shape the state’s stance on reproductive freedoms, with abortion rights advocates aiming to secure constitutional protection for such rights through a ballot initiative.

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