Arizona Senate Votes to Repeal 1864 Near-Total Abortion Ban

Arizona Senate votes to repeal 1864 near-total abortion ban, but 90-day delay expected before 15-week law takes effect. Ongoing battle over reproductive rights could impact 2024 election.

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Arizona Senate Votes to Repeal 1864 Near-Total Abortion Ban

Arizona Senate Votes to Repeal 1864 Near-Total Abortion Ban

The Arizona Senate voted on Wednesday to repeal the state's 1864 near-total abortion ban, which was recently upheld by the state Supreme Court in April 2024. The repeal bill passed by a narrow 16-14 margin, with two Republican senators joining all 14 Democrats in support.

If the repeal is signed into law by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, it would revert Arizona's abortion law to a 15-week ban passed in 2022. However, the 1864 ban is likely to go into effect for a period of time before the repeal takes effect, as the state constitution requires a 90-day delay for repeals of laws after the legislative session ends, which is expected in June or July.

Why this matters: The vote to repeal the Civil War-era abortion ban in Arizona, a key battleground state, reflects the ongoing fight over women's reproductive rights in the U.S. following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022. The outcome could have significant implications for the 2024 presidential election.

The 1864 law, which predates Arizona's statehood, only permits abortions to save the patient's life and provides no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. The Arizona Supreme Court has suggested that doctors could be prosecuted under this law, which carries a sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison for anyone who assists in an abortion.

Advocates on both sides of the abortion issue have been vocal in their support or opposition to the repeal bill. Planned Parenthood has vowed to continue providing abortions for the short time they are still legal and is working to help patients travel out of state to access the procedure.

Key Takeaways

  • Arizona Senate voted 16-14 to repeal 1864 near-total abortion ban.
  • Repeal would revert to 15-week ban, but 1864 law may take effect first.
  • Repeal reflects ongoing fight over reproductive rights after Roe v. Wade.
  • Proposed ballot measure could create right to abortion up to viability.
  • Governor Hobbs expected to sign repeal, but more battles ahead in Arizona.