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Arizona Senate Likely to Vote on Appeal of Abortion Ban of 1864

The Arizona state is expected to vote to repeal the state’s 1864 ban on abortion on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The law is expected to go into effect in weeks if not struck down.

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Anthony Raphael
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Arizona Senate Likely to Vote on Appeal of Abortion Ban of 1864

Arizona Senate Likely to Vote on Appeal of Abortion Ban of 1864

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The Arizona state is expected to vote to repeal the state’s 1864 ban on abortion on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The law is expected to go into effect in weeks if not struck down. Last week, the Arizona House passed the measure after Republicans voted with Democrats against their party ranks, thereby sending the bill to the Senate.

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Analysts expect the bill to easily pass through the upper chamber because it has enough support, notwithstanding the Republicans hold a slim majority of 16 to 14. If the bill is passed, the measures could be sent immediately to the table of Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, who already said she will sign it if passed. 

Arizona is sharply divided between Republicans and Democrats and recently became the flashpoint for women’s reproductive rights in the United States. Interestingly, the abortion ban currently in contention was introduced during the Civil War era.

The US Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling on abortion

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The Supreme Court in the United States ended the constitutional right to abortion in 2022. Consequently, it was left to the states to rule on the issue. States led by conservative governments quickly clamped down on abortion within their borders in the strictest ways.

On the other hand, Democrats across the U.S. are supporting abortion rights with the belief that they have public opinion on their side. Democrats have also sought to elevate the issue ahead of the presidential election in November—for which Arizona is a historical battleground state. 

The state Supreme Court revived the 1864 law on April 9, and if there is no intervention from the legislature, the law could take effect within 60 days of that ruling, according to the Democrat state Attorney General, Kris Mayes.

If Democrats succeed in repealing the ban in Arizona, some restrictions may persist. In 2022, Arizona passed a law that made it illegal to have an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Arizona Democrats will hope to sway the populace to vote for someone who will restore abortion rights when they go to the ballot in November.

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