United States

Arizona Senate Votes To Repeal 1864 Abortion Law

The Arizona Senate voted to repeal an 1864 abortion ban while keeping a 15-week limit intact.

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The Arizona Senate has voted to repeal the state's archaic 1864 abortion ban. This decision comes as a relief to many, particularly after weeks of intense debate and division surrounding the issue. The repeal bill, which preserves a 15-week abortion limit implemented in 2022, now awaits approval from Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs.

"The Senate answered my call and voted to repeal the 1864 total abortion ban. While this is essential to protecting women’s health, it is just the beginning," remarked Governor Hobbs. "I will never stop fighting for women’s reproductive freedoms."

Senators clashed, with one resorting to biblical references while another played a recording of his daughter's fetal heartbeat. Ultimately, the vote stood at 16 to 14 in favour of repealing the outdated law, with two Republicans crossing party lines to support the measure.

"Our Democrat colleagues who are very good at sticking together... they vote together," noted Senator Dave Farnsworth. "Unfortunately, on this side of the aisle, we are not so good at doing that."

This latest development follows a similar decision by the Arizona House of Representatives, where bipartisan support led to the passage of the repeal bill.

The repeal's passage represents a significant victory for pro-choice advocates, albeit tempered by the persistence of the 15-week abortion limit. Despite this progress, concerns linger regarding the potential reinstatement of the 1864 law until the repeal takes effect, possibly in June.

"We appreciate the efforts of pro-reproductive freedom lawmakers to repeal this harmful abortion ban," said Chris Love, a spokesperson for Arizona for Abortion Access. "Arizonans cannot afford to celebrate or lose momentum. The threat to our reproductive freedom is as immediate today as it ever was."

The ongoing debate in Arizona mirrors a broader national conversation surrounding abortion rights, with Vice President Kamala Harris recently highlighting the issue in Florida.