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Arizona House successfully repeals controversial 1864 abortion ban with support from 3 Republicans.

The Arizona House of Representatives has successfully repealed a controversial abortion ban that dates back to 1864. The ban, which only included exceptions to save the life of the pregnant woman, was revived by a court ruling earlier this month, sparking a heated debate. However, with the support of three Republicans, Democrats were able to secure the votes needed to repeal the ban.

Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, who sponsored the bill, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome. She stated, “I’ve known for a while that the votes were there, it just takes a lot of fortitude, a lot of spine.” Hamilton revealed that she had phone conversations with Republicans the night before the vote, which made her cautiously optimistic about their support.

The repeal bill will now move to the state Senate, where it is expected to be taken up next week. Two Republican senators have already pledged their support for the repeal effort, indicating that the bill should pass in the Senate as well. If it does, it will then head to Governor Katie Hobbs’ desk to be signed into law. The repeal will take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, which must be before June 30.

The push to repeal the Civil War-era ban has been met with opposition from many state Republican lawmakers. However, leading conservatives such as former President Donald Trump, former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and Senate candidate Kari Lake have expressed their support for abortion restrictions but believe the 1864 ban goes too far.

“This total ban on abortion that the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled on is out of line with where the people of this state are,” Lake said in a video statement earlier this month.

Despite objections from some Republicans, the repeal effort gained momentum due to political pressures and concerns about the ban’s constitutionality. GOP state Rep. Alexander Kolodin accused the House of rushing the legislation and likened abortion to the killing of infants. Another Republican representative, Jacqueline Parker, compared abortion to slavery and decried the GOP votes for repeal.

The issue of abortion is likely to be directly placed before voters in the upcoming November election. The Arizona for Abortion Access campaign has been working to gather signatures for a potential constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion access. Democrats believe that this amendment could boost voter enthusiasm and turnout for their candidates, as abortion access has proven to be a significant factor in previous elections since the 2022 overruling of Roe v. Wade’s nationwide protections.

The campaign has already gathered over 500,000 signatures, surpassing the necessary threshold. However, they intend to continue gathering signatures until the deadline. The Arizona for Abortion Access campaign spokesperson stated, “We will continue to gather signatures until the wheels fall off.”

The successful repeal of the controversial 1864 abortion ban marks a significant moment in Arizona’s history. The decision to overturn a law that dates back to a time when women didn’t have the right to vote and the age of consent was only 10 years old highlights the progress made in women’s rights and reproductive healthcare. The outcome of this repeal effort will undoubtedly shape the future of abortion access in Arizona and potentially impact voter enthusiasm in the upcoming election.

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