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Arizona Republicans denounce revived 1864 abortion ban in sudden reversal | Arizona

Hours after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a 160-year-old abortion ban was now enforceable, the state’s Republicans took a surprising stance for a party that has historically championed restrictions to abortion: they denounced the decision.

“This decision cannot stand,” said Matt Gress, a Republican state representative. “I categorically reject a return to a time when slavery was still legal and we could lock up women and doctors because of abortion. »

First passed when Arizona was still a territory, the ban only allows abortions to save a patient’s life and provides no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

“Today’s decision by the Arizona Supreme Court reinstating a more than 150-year-old territorial ban on all abortions is disappointing, to say the least,” said Republican state Sen. TJ Shope.

“I oppose today’s decision,” added Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona’s representation in the US Senate and Donald Trump loyalist. Lake called on the state Legislature to “come up with an immediate, common-sense solution that Arizonians can support.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, leading the Republican Party to stumble in the 2022 midterm elections and abortion rights supporters to win a series of ballot measures, including in In purple and red states, Republicans have struggled to find a way to talk about abortion without turning off voters. But their response to the 1864 ban decision may well be the quickest and strongest rebuke to the abortion ban since the fall of Roe.

“This is an earthquake that has never been seen in Arizona politics,” Barrett Marson, a Republican consultant in Arizona, said of the decision. “This will shake the ground under all Republican candidates, even those who hold safe seats in the House or Congress. »

The 1864 ban is not currently in effect and may not take effect for weeks due to legal delays. Abortion is currently allowed in Arizona up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Some criticism of Tuesday’s ruling came from politicians who had previously supported the 1864 Prohibition or applauded the end of Roe v Wade. Lake previously called the ban “big law,” according to PolitiFact. David Schweikert, an Arizona congressman who faces one of the most competitive House races in the country in November, said Tuesday that he does not support the decision and wants the Legislature to State “addresses this issue immediately”, but in 2022 stated that the fall of Roe “pleased” him.

The Speaker of the Arizona State House of Representatives and the President of the State Senate, both Republicans, also issued a joint statement saying they would “listen to our constituents to determine the best course of action.” for the legislature. In contrast, on the day Roe fell, the Republican-controlled state Senate issued a statement declaring the 1864 ban effective immediately. The statement caused confusion and chaos among abortion providers in Arizona, prompting them to stop offering the procedure out of an abundance of caution.

“They’re trying to have it both ways. They’re trying to have the illusion that they’re moderate to get votes, because they know Arizonans don’t want a total ban,” said Dr. Gabrielle Goodrick, one of the providers who temporarily shut down to perform abortions when Roe fell. “It’s just ridiculous. Now they say they oppose it? Yeah, yeah – a little too late.

“A dark day”: Arizona governor condemns decision on near-total abortion ban – video

Arizona is one of a dozen states where voters may be able to directly decide abortion rights in November. State activists have now collected more than half a million signatures in support of giving Arizona residents a chance to vote on a ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

Democrats are hoping that turnout for the proposition, which has not yet been officially added to the ballot, will also lead to an increase in support for their candidates, including Joe Biden. A similar dynamic is at work in Florida, whose state Supreme Court recently cleared the way for a six-week abortion ban, and where voters will be able to vote in November to constitutionally protect abortion.

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The decision also exposed the growing divide between Republicans and their longtime allies in the anti-abortion movement. While Arizona Republicans worked to distance themselves from the long-dormant law, abortion opponents cheered the decision.

“We celebrate the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision that allows the state’s pro-life law to once again protect the lives of countless innocent unborn children,” said Jake Warner, senior attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which argued in court for the ban. .

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who disappointed religious conservatives Monday when he said states should decide their own abortion laws, did not immediately weigh in on Arizona’s decision.

Abortion rights are popular in Arizona: Nearly a third of Arizona voters in the 2022 midterm elections said abortion was the most important issue to help them decide for whom vote, according to exit polls. By a 2-1 margin, state voters said abortion should be legal, and 40% said they felt “angry” over the Supreme Court’s decision ending the federal right to abortion.

A late February poll by Phoenix-based Noble Predictive Insights found that 40 percent of Arizona voters expected Trump, if elected, to attempt to completely ban abortion, while 45% expected Biden, if re-elected, to increase his abortion rate. to access.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Arizona later this week, part of a planned visit ahead of Tuesday’s decision. She blamed the state’s looming ban on Trump, whose three Supreme Court nominees voted to eliminate the federally guaranteed right to abortion.

“Arizona just turned back the clock until women could vote – and, by her own admission, there is one person responsible: Donald Trump,” Harris said in a campaign statement. “The alarm is ringing for every woman in America: Given the chance, Donald Trump would approve a national ban on abortion.”

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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