Fri. May 24th, 2024

Arizona GOP strategy document implores party to show ‘Republicans have a plan’ on abortion

By 37ci3 Apr16,2024

PHOENIX – Republican lawmakers in Arizona are considering alternative ballot measures to compete with a proposed constitutional amendment to expand abortion rights in the state. According to a PowerPoint presentation obtained by NBC NewsAs the GOP faces the fallout from a state Supreme Court decision that almost upheld the abortion ban.

The strategy document includes the following slide: “PHASE 2: SEND TO VOTERS TWO OTHER OPTIONS THAT CONFLICT WITH THE AAA INITIATIVE.” Arizona for Abortion Accessaims to enshrine abortion rights through fetal viability in state constitutions and greatly expand the scope of exceptions.

The document outlines a plan to give voters alternatives to the Abortion Arizona ballot measure, giving voters options for other constitutional changes such as the “15-week Reproductive Care and Abortion Act and the Heartbeat Protection Act.”

The document also discusses giving voters an option to restrict abortions after 15 weeks, which would actually be a stricter ban.

“Could reduce 15-week law to 14-week law,” the submission said. “In fact, the 14-week law is disguised as a 15-week law because it only allows abortion up to the beginning of the 15th week,” he continues.

The document also acknowledges that both of these time frames represent an “arbitrary number of weeks” of pregnancy, and that changing a measure that “fixes” that number in the state constitution is considered a disadvantage.

Arizona’s Legislature is scheduled to reconvene Wednesday amid mounting pressure from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, to repeal Arizona’s 1864 abortion ban.

State House Speaker Ben Thoma said in a statement in response to the presentation: “The document presents ideas for internal discussion and group consideration. I have made it clear that we are looking at options to address this issue and this is just part of it.

Dawn Penich, spokeswoman for Abortion Arizona, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations including the Arizona ACLU and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said the document “shows once again why Arizonans cannot give up our most basic and personal rights.” the hands of politicians in the state legislature.”

The Republican PowerPoint also outlines a plan to “constitutionalize existing laws” on the books in Arizona in response to the debate over abortion policy. This includes “prohibiting abortions by anyone who is not a licensed physician,” prohibiting “discriminatory abortions,” or “prohibiting physicians from performing abortions when the physician knows the purpose is based on genetic abnormality, race, or sex.”

According to the document, the purpose of putting forward those proposals: “The narrative is changing – the Republicans have a plan!” It said the GOP needed to give voters “something other than the extreme abortion-on-demand AAA Initiative” to choose from in November. The 24-week ballot measure gained increased attention last week after the state Supreme Court ruled that Arizona’s circa-1864 ban was enforceable.

The PowerPoint presentation includes a tribute to late-night TV host Seth Meyers and “BOOM. SO EASY.”

In Arizona, a proposed constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot through citizen-initiated signature gathering or petition by the legislature.

The measure seeking to provide access to abortion is going through a petition signature process, while the proposals discussed in the Republican strategy document will be brought to a vote by the GOP-controlled Legislature.

There seem to be a number of contingencies in the document.

For example, the “Phase 1” options describe a situation in which Republican lawmakers would refer to proposed amendments to preserve the authority of lawmakers to “enact laws rationally related to the promotion and protection of life and the protection of the health and safety of pregnant women.”

The document describes the approach as “non-controversial” to the proposed abortion rights amendment – and says that if both come up and pass in November, “courts” will have to consider “both” when interpreting the constitutional right to abortion. they will have to. .”

The document also recommends Republican lawmakers choose names for “Phase 1” measures under the “Pregnant Women Protection and Safe Abortion Act,” the “Arizona Abortion and Reproductive Care Act” and the “Arizona Abortion Protection Act.”

At the same time, the document presents an “ALTERNATIVE to PHASE 2,” which lawmakers will refer to as the “conditional enactment” of the “Phase 2 proposal.” Under this approach, the “Phase 2” proposal “would not take effect until the Arizona Abortion Access Act is passed” during the 2024 general election.

It was not immediately clear from the document that the “Stage 2” approach, that is, ballot measures that “conflict” with the abortion rights proposal, would be considered in parallel or as an alternative to “Stage 1.”

However, the document includes a proposed timeline that says there are “REASONS TO PROCEED WITH PHASE 1 AND THEN REASONS TO SEND PHASE 2 OR CONDITIONAL LEGISLATION,” which “puts Democrats on the defensive.”

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By 37ci3

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