Arizona House Votes to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban

State Senate vote is expected next week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2024 6:35 PM CDT
Arizona House Votes to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban
Arizona Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, left, gets a hug from Sen. Anna Hernandez, a fellow Democrat, after the vote tally Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona's 1864 abortion ban appears unlikely to survive 2024. After two failed efforts, the state House voted 32-28 Wednesday to repeal the near-total ban on abortions, the Arizona Republic reports. Three Republican lawmakers voted with all 29 of the chamber's Democrats, while other Republicans delivered speeches describing the abortion process in graphic detail. Earlier this month, the state's top court ruled that the 1864 law, which was passed 48 years before Arizona's statehood, could be enforced. It is due to take effect on June 8, but repeal is expected sooner.

Arizona's Senate is expected to vote on a repeal bill on May 1, and sources tell NBC News that it is likely to pass. If it does pass, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs is expected to sign it without delay. The 1864 law, which makes no exceptions for rape and incest, was blocked for decades by the Roe v. Wade decision, the AP reports. If it is repealed, a post-Roe 2022 law banning abortion after 15 weeks will replace it.

NBC reports that Arizona lawmakers were praised by abortion rights supporters after the repeal bill passed. "That's a good thing," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of the vote. "We're moving forward in the right direction." Republican leaders in the state House, meanwhile, reacted with anger. House Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham described the vote as an "awful, disgusting situation." Rep. Matt Gress, one of the Republicans who voted for repeal, was stripped of his committee assignments, as was Democratic Rep. Oscar De Los Santos, the assistant minority leader. (More abortion stories.)

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