Arizona House blocks attempt to vote on a repeal of the 1864 near-total abortion ban

A woman supporting abortion rights holds a sign.
Posted at 11:37 AM, Apr 18, 2024

PHOENIX — Arizona House Republicans have blocked another attempt to vote on a repeal of the Civil War-era abortion ban in the state.

On Wednesday, the House voted and blocked the motion by a 30-30 roll call. The same thing happened last week.

"Extremist Republicans in the Legislature have failed again to do the right thing. In just one week living under this new reality, women, doctors, and healthcare providers have already begun to feel the devastating effects of living under a total abortion ban. We cannot go on like this," Governor Katie Hobbs said moments after the failed vote. I will continue to call on the Legislature to do its job and repeal this law. In the meantime, I remain committed to protecting the freedoms of every single Arizonan, and I am working to make sure women are able to access the care they need."

On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a Civil War-era abortion ban.

"To date, our legislature has never affirmatively created a right to, or independently authorized, elective abortion," the court's opinion stated.

This 4-2 ruling makes nearly all abortions in the state illegal, with the exception of cases in which the procedure is needed to save the mother's life.

It also wipes out a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, which was made law in 2022, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade.

After the constitutional right to an abortion was overturned later that year, Arizona still had a law on the books from 1864 that banned nearly all abortions, including in cases of rape or incest.

Republicans attempted to revive the law but faced opposition from abortion-rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood Arizona, which was a plaintiff in this case.