Arizona Senate votes to repeal 1864 pro-life law, governor signs next day

UPDATE, 5/2/24: Governor Katie Hobbs has signed the bill repealing Arizona’s 1864 pro-life law, passed the same year that the Senate passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protected most preborn children from abortion, except in cases where a mother’s life would be considered in danger. However, intentionally and directly killing a preborn child to save a mother’s life is not medically necessary.

CNN writes:

The Arizona Supreme Court’s April 9 ruling, which found that the state had to adhere to the century-old law, was not going to be enforceable until June 27 at the earliest, according to Arizona’s Democratic attorney general, Kris Mayes.

Meanwhile, the repeal measure will not take effect until 90 days after the Arizona Legislature adjourns later this year, meaning the Civil War-era abortion ban could come into effect for some time.

5/1/24: The Arizona Senate voted to repeal the state’s 1864 law protecting most preborn children from abortion, in what is being touted as a win for pro-abortion Democrats. The mainstream media had painted the narrative that because the law was from 1864, somehow it was archaic and backward — despite the fact that, as Live Action News previously noted, “It was in 1864 that the Senate took the first step in abolishing slavery in the United States by passing the 13th Amendment.”

Last month, the Arizona House passed HB2677 to repeal, just weeks after the Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold the law. Under the law, committing an induced abortion — in which a preborn child is intentionally killed — is a felony, punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who commits the abortion or helps a woman obtain one, though there are exceptions if the mother’s life is endangered.

The bill passed the House in a 32-28 vote, though it narrowly won in the Senate; Democrats needed two Republicans to cross the aisle in order to reach the 16 votes needed, and they did (the two Republicans were Senators Shawnna Bolick and T.J. Shope). It squeaked through to victory on a 16-14 vote. It will now be sent to Governor Katie Hobbs, who has already promised to sign it.

Shawnna Bolick, one of the two Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, related her own history of pregnancy and abortion, saying she underwent an abortion when she was pregnant with a baby she said was not viable. “Would Arizona’s pre-Roe law have allowed me to have this medical procedure even though my life wasn’t in danger?” she asked. NBC News reported:

Bolick, in a lengthy and nuanced speech ahead of casting her pivotal vote, told several emotional stories of women who experienced major complications during pregnancy and needed care that would likely be restricted under the 1864 law — while also making clear her opposition to reproductive health groups and abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Bolick concluded her 21-minute speech, which was interrupted by lawmakers and protesters several times, by revealing all of the pregnancies she spoke of were her own.

“Would Arizona’s pre-Roe law have allowed me this medical procedure even though at the time my life was not in danger?” Bolick asked rhetorically at one point.

She was referring to a dilation and curettage procedure she needed during the first trimester of a non-viable pregnancy she experienced.

“Having a ‘D and C’ in my first trimester because the baby wasn’t viable was very tough,” Bolick said.

A video shows Bolick’s lengthy remarks and makes it clear: Bolick had a miscarriage. An ultrasound had shown the baby no longer had a heartbeat. A doctor told Bolick that she needed a D&C and described it to Bolick as “just like having an abortion.” But in such a case, a D&C procedure does not end a child’s life; in such a case D&C was to remove the body of an already deceased baby, not to intentionally kill the child in utero. Arizona’s pro-life law did not restrict miscarriage treatment, as the removal of deceased remains is not an abortion. Women who have miscarried have not sought abortions; pro-life individuals, especially lawmakers — should know better… and yet, a medical community and abortion industry so often conflate miscarriage and abortion, which is dishonest. The answer to Bolick’s “rhetorical” question about whether the medical procedure for a miscarriage would have been allowed under Arizona law is yes.

After speaking about Planned Parenthood, pregnancy centers, and how extreme pro-abortion initiatives are (and while being interrupted multiple times), Bolick said she was voting to repeal so that “more babies” are protected: “Very little legislation written and signed into law is perfect…” she said. “I want to protect our state constitution from unlimited abortions up until the moment of birth with Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Access Act. I am here to protect more babies. I vote ‘aye’.”

Another senator, Anthony Kern, criticized Bolick and T.J. Shope, the other Republican who voted in favor of repeal. Both Bolick and Shope describe themselves as pro-life, which Kern said was contradictory. “The craziest thing I’ve seen and heard is, ‘I’m pro-life, yet I’m going to vote to repeal the abortion ban,'” he said. “It’s insanity to me.”

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, who had already promised not to enforce the law, celebrated the vote on X (previously known as Twitter). “Today’s vote by the Arizona Senate to repeal the draconian 1864 abortion ban is a win for freedom in our state,” she wrote. “I look forward to [Governor Hobbs] signing the repeal into law as soon as possible.”

After being signed, the bill will take effect in 90 days, and the state’s laws on abortion will then revert to a law protecting preborn children from abortion after 15 weeks gestation. Though abortion groups are celebrating the repeal, they are also complaining that it isn’t enough, and are calling for a constitutional “right” to abortion to be put into place. This could happen, as enough signatures have already been gathered to put a pro-abortion ballot initiative before voters.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.


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