Skip to Content

Arizona Senate keeps effort to repeal abortion ban in play

By Andy Rose, CNN

(CNN) — A bill that would repeal Arizona’s 160-year-old abortion ban was successfully introduced in the state Senate on Wednesday after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to advance a similar effort.

The Senate effort was rescued with the help of two Republicans, state Sens. T.J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick, who sided with Democrats in the GOP-controlled chamber to allow the bill to go forward by a vote of 16 to 14. The bill, which required a special vote since it was filed after the legislature’s normal deadline, must still move through the full legislative process in the Senate, which requires consideration for three days before a final vote and potential move to the House.

Last week, the state Supreme Court roiled Arizona politics by reviving the Civil War-era law, saying that the 2022 decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade left nothing to block the state law from being enforced. Since then, failed efforts by the Arizona legislature to repeal the ban have frustrated abortion rights activists and Democrats, as well as GOP candidates in competitive races who have been scrambling to distance themselves from the court’s decision. Some Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and US Senate candidate Kari Lake, have called on the GOP-controlled legislature to work with Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to take a more moderate path.

Earlier Wednesday, in the state House following two attempts to discuss a bill that would repeal Arizona’s 1864 ban on abortions, lawmakers voted not to discuss the measure on the floor. The representatives’ votes were evenly split, with the chair making the tie-breaking decision. The bill itself was not brought up for a vote.

“The last thing we should be doing today is rushing a bill through the legislative process to repeal a law that has been enacted and affirmed by the legislature several times,” House Speaker Ben Toma said during debate.

If the 1864 law were repealed, Arizona would revert back to a 15-week abortion restriction signed into law in 2022 by then-Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican. The state court delayed enforcement of the ban for at least 14 days to allow plaintiffs to challenge it, meaning abortions are still allowed in the state.

The ban prohibits the procedure except to save the life of the pregnant person and threatens providers with prison sentences between two and five years.

If the 1864 law goes into effect, Arizona would join 14 states that have passed near total abortion bans, some with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content