Fri. May 24th, 2024

Arizona governor signs repeal of 1864 abortion ban

By 37ci3 May3,2024

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Thursday signed into law a repeal of the state’s nearly complete abortion ban, which has been on the books since the Civil War, ending a political turmoil sparked by a controversial state Supreme Court ruling last month.

Along with Democratic lawmakers who helped push the bill through the GOP-controlled Legislature, Hobbs signed the repeal at the state Capitol a day after the state Senate. passed he

“I’ve heard from doctors who aren’t sure if they’re going to end up in a jail cell just doing their job, from women who say they don’t know if it’s safe to start a family here in Arizona,” Hobbs said. signing ceremony. “These intolerable conversations are precisely why I have made one thing clear, very clear: This ban must be lifted.”

His signature marked the latest chapter in the fight over abortion rights in Arizona following a state Supreme Court ruling. judgment Reinstating the almost complete ban on abortion that first went into effect in 1864, before Arizona was granted statehood.

The conservative-leaning court’s ruling upheld a law punishing anyone who performs an abortion or assists a woman in obtaining an abortion with two to five years in prison. The lawCodified in 1901 and again in 1913 after Arizona became a state, it prohibits abortion from the moment of conception, but includes an exception to save the woman’s life.

The US Supreme Court in Roe v. After overturning the Wade case — which struck down federal abortion protections and gave that authority to the states — legal questions immediately arose about whether Arizona officials had an obligation to enforce the never-repealed 1864 law, or one-week abortions from 15-2022. ban goes into effect if Roe is struck down.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling on April 9 that the 1864 law prevails and is enforceable has sparked a national outcry, with everyone from Republicans to former President Donald Trump calling on the state to find a way to silence the effects of the ban. . propose a rapid chain of events in the Legislature to repeal it.

The effort, which included weeks of failed attempts to advance a repeal bill, resulted in its final approval by the state Senate on Wednesday. A week ago, in its third attempt in three weeks, the State House also passed the repeal. A handful of Republicans in both closely divided chambers (three in the House and two in the state Senate) joined with Democrats to pass the bill.

The string of legislative successes for repeal has been praised at every turn by reproductive rights groups and Democrats, including President Joe Biden.

But even after Hobbs’ signature, the path to how and which abortion restrictions will be implemented in Arizona remains complicated: Because of unique aspects of Arizona law, the ban still has some time to go into effect.

Under the Arizona ConstitutionA fully enacted repeal of a law takes effect 90 days after the end of a legislative session, unless passed by a majority vote in both legislative chambers.

Last year’s session ended on July 31, so if the current session ended at the same time, the repeal would not be fully implemented until late October or early November. But Arizona doesn’t have a fixed legislative calendar, meaning Republicans could hold the session open to further delay repeal.

Arizona Attorney General Chris Mayes, a Democrat, said Tuesday that he expected the 1864 ban to take effect on June 27, as officials and lawyers for reproductive rights groups were still trying to find ways, according to his office’s interpretation of state Supreme Court procedural rules. delay that date.

When the repeal finally takes full effect, the enforcement picture will still remain fluid.

A complete repeal of the 1864 prohibition would result in an immediate reversal of public policy. 15 week ban On abortions enacted in 2022, it provides an exception for medical emergencies, but not for rape or consanguinity.

At the same time, it is almost certain that a proposed a constitutional amendment It will appear on the Arizona ballot in November, allowing voters to decide the future of abortion rights in the state.

The ballot measure would create a “fundamental right” to access abortion care until fetal viability, or about the 24th week of pregnancy. If approved by voters, it would have effectively repealed both the general prohibition of 1864 and the 15-week prohibition.

Asked after the signing if the repeal, which kept the 15-week ban in place, would risk muted support for the proposed amendment, as more voters might be more comfortable with a less stringent ban, Hobbs dismissed the idea.

“Whether it’s a ban passed in 1864 or a ban passed in 2022, both of those bans are draconian,” he said. “And Arizonans will have a chance to have a say on that.”

“The experience we’ve had these few weeks after the court decision is precisely because the government should not be involved in these decisions at all,” Hobbs said.

The state Supreme Court’s decision prompted Republicans to debate it as well possible emergencies, including alternative ballot measures. GOP lawmakers have yet to introduce any specific proposals or legislative proposals for these potential measures.

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By 37ci3

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