Abortion Ruling in Arizona Causes Firestorm

Lawmakers Going to War on Abortion in Arizona

(USNewsBreak.com) – When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs decision in June 2022, it returned the rights to states to govern abortion laws. Many had legislation in the wings, waiting to enact it. However, in Arizona, a 160-year-old law is now at the center of a controversy, and it’s causing quite a firestorm among lawmakers in the state.

2022 Abortion Law

Following the repeal of Roe, Arizona legislators passed a law that allowed abortions up to 15 weeks gestation. It made exceptions for medical emergencies but not for any other cases. Some lawmakers expressed concerns at the time that extremely conservative factions could resurrect a pre-existing law predating the Roe v. Wade decision and open the door for more stringent restrictions in the future.

Recent events have justified those concerns. Now, there’s a contentious battle between Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the state over whether to overturn the law.

160-Year Law Resurrected

On April 9, Arizona’s conservative Supreme Court revived an 1864 law that institutes a near-total ban on pregnancy terminations. It allows one exception, in the case that the mother’s life is in danger. However, the law harshly penalizes those who would perform the procedure. Anyone found guilty of performing an abortion becomes subject to mandatory prison time of two to five years. As such, many clinics have considered shutting down or stopping the procedure altogether.

The court hadn’t scheduled the law to take effect for 14 days, but lawmakers immediately went to work trying to repeal the Civil War-era ban. Democrats introduced measures to overturn the measure but found themselves repeatedly blocked by state Republicans, who also feel pressure to change course. Democrats made two failed attempts on Wednesday, April 17.

The issue could drastically affect the 2024 general elections, as many Americans believe that women should have the right to obtain the procedure. The current situation may be setting the stage for a controversial battle.

The back and forth has made the state ground zero on the hot-button issue, and many are pushing the legislature to act sooner rather than later. Former President Donald Trump has stated that the old law goes too far and has called on state Republicans to overturn it.

Voters in the state could take matters into their own hands if the legislature can’t figure it out. Abortion rights groups are in the process of collecting signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.

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