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

Arizona lawmakers vote to undo near-total abortion ban (Credits: San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Arizona Legislature has taken remarkable steps towards repealing a long-standing ban on nearly all abortions, with the bill now awaiting Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’s signature. The repeal effort gained unexpected support from two Republicans in the Senate, resulting in a narrow 16-14 vote in favor.

The ban, a relic from the Civil War era, currently prohibits all abortions without exceptions for cases of rape or incest, only allowing procedures to save a patient’s life. Despite the impending repeal, the ban will remain in effect until later this year, likely until June or July.

Arizona’s Democratic governor signs a bill to repeal 1864 ban (Credits: The Press Democrat)

Democratic Senator Eva Burch emphasized the outdated nature of the ban, highlighting its origins in a time when women’s rights were severely limited. She spoke passionately about the need to repeal such laws, drawing attention to the restrictive nature of the ban and its impact on women’s autonomy.

Efforts are underway to prevent the ban from taking effect before the repeal is implemented, with Planned Parenthood Arizona filing a motion to the state Supreme Court seeking to maintain abortion services uninterrupted.

The debate over abortion rights in Arizona has sparked intense emotions on both sides, with advocates vocalizing their views in the Senate chamber and beyond. Former President Donald Trump has weighed in on the issue, warning of potential losses for Republicans but stopping short of endorsing a national abortion ban.

Arizona Senate votes to repeal 1864 abortion ban (Credits: Washington Post)

The looming repeal comes as part of a broader national conversation around abortion rights, particularly following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Advocates are working to reinforce networks for patients seeking abortions out of state, while Republican lawmakers consider their options for potential ballot measures on the issue in the November elections.

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