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Arizona Lawmakers Vote to Repeal Near-Total Abortion Ban from 1864, Expected to Be Signed by Gov. Hobbs

Ariz. governor signs repeal of 1864 abortion ban (Credits: ABC News)

The Arizona Legislature’s approval of a repeal of a long-dormant ban on nearly all abortions marks a an outstanding development in the state’s reproductive rights landscape.

With the bill now headed to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, who is expected to sign it promptly, Arizona is poised to overturn a Civil War-era prohibition on abortions, a move that has drawn attention and controversy from both sides of the political spectrum.

The bipartisan nature of the Senate vote, with two Republicans aligning with Democrats, underscores the complexity and divisiveness of the issue.

US abortion bans (Credits: Lowy Institute)

While supporters of the repeal argue that it is essential for protecting women’s lives and ensuring reproductive healthcare, opponents raise concerns about the absence of exceptions for survivors of rape or incest in the existing ban.

The potential implications of the repeal are far-reaching. Once signed into law, the 2022 statute banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy would become Arizona’s prevailing abortion law.

However, there remains a transitional period during which nearly all abortions could be outlawed before the repeal takes effect, prompting swift efforts to prevent the enforcement of the older ban.

Legal challenges and advocacy efforts are already underway to address the potential consequences of the repeal. Planned Parenthood Arizona has filed a motion with the state Supreme Court to prevent a pause in abortion services until the legislative repeal is fully implemented.

Similarly, Arizona’s Attorney General Kris Mayes has pledged to explore every available option to prevent the enforcement of the 160-year-old law.

Abortion Ban (Credits: NBC News)

The debate surrounding the repeal bill has ignited impassioned speeches and disruptions in the Senate gallery, reflecting the deeply held beliefs and concerns on both sides of the abortion issue.

While proponents emphasize the need to repeal outdated and restrictive laws, opponents warn of potential interference and seek to protect what they view as fundamental rights and values.

The repeal of the near-total ban on abortions in Arizona marks a remarkable milestone in the ongoing national conversation about reproductive rights.

As advocates and lawmakers continue to grapple with these complex and contentious issues, the outcome of this legislative battle is likely to have far-reaching implications for women’s healthcare and civil liberties in the state.

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