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Arizona lawmakers block 2nd vote attempt to repeal 1864 abortion ban

Lawmakers in the state halted another attempt to void the Civil War-era legislation banning abortion.
Posted at 9:24 PM, Apr 17, 2024

Arizona House Republicans have blocked another attempt to vote on the 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.

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"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 health care providers have already begun to feel the devastating effects of living under a total abortion ban. We cannot go on like this," Gov. Katie Hobbs said moments after the failed vote. 

She said, "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 read.

The 4-2 ruling makes nearly all abortions in Arizona illegal, with the exception of cases in which the procedure is needed to save the mother's life. It also supersedes a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, which was passed into law in 2022, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

After the constitutional right to an abortion was overturned, 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 Civil War-era legislation but faced opposition from abortion-rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood Arizona, which was a plaintiff in this case.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Phoenix