Arizona Senate Votes To Lift 1864 Ban On Abortion

( – When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, states immediately began crafting and passing their own legislation. One of those included Arizona, which tried to enact a 15-week ban. When legal challenges arose, the state Supreme Court struck it down, which reinstated a 160-year-old ban crafted in the Civil War Era. Now, the state legislature has voted to repeal the 1864 law.

The 1864 law constituted a total ban, with one exception: it allowed the procedure if a mother’s life was in danger. It made no allowances for incest, rape, or human trafficking, and it would have resulted in felony charges for anyone who performed or participated in an abortion. Democrats in the Arizona House immediately tried to repeal the law, but Republicans blocked them.

However, that changed on Wednesday, April 24, when the House passed the measure 32 to 28. It then went to the state Senate, passing by an even narrower margin, 16 to 14. Two Republicans, Shawnna Bolick and T.J. Shope, sided with Democrats to repeal the law, a stunning move considering the GOP has maintained a narrow majority in the upper chamber. Bolick gave a speech about her own experience when she had complications that necessitated medical action that the Civil War-era ban would’ve prohibited.

The repeal then went to Governor Katie Hobbs’ (D) desk. She had supported signing the repeal into law, which she did on Thursday, May 2. In doing so, it reverted the abortion ban back to 15 weeks gestation.

However, there are still no exceptions for incest or rape. Women seeking an abortion on those grounds beyond the 15-week limit must make a critical decision to either give birth or travel to a neighboring state to obtain the procedure.

Unfortunately, the 1864 law will remain in place when the repeal takes effect on June 27 because the state cannot strike the law from the system until 90 days after the state legislature has adjourned its session, which is at the end of June.

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