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Arizona Senate votes to repeal of 1864 abortion ban

UPDATE (6:30 PM): Governor Hobbs will sign the bill during a special ceremony on Thursday, May 2.

UPDATE (6 PM): The Arizona Senate voted to repeal the 1864 near-total abortion ban.

The vote on Wednesday was 16 to 14 in favor of repealing the 160-year-old ban. 

Several members of the Democratic and Republican parties voiced their thoughts following the vote.

Some are in favor and others in opposition.

"I am grateful that this all being said today on this particular vote and I vote aye," said Sally Ann Gonzalez, Arizona State Senate Democratic Party

"It is disgusting that this is the state of the Republican Party today. I proudly vote no on this atrocious motion," said Senator Jake Hoffman, Arizona State Senate Republican Party.

I spoke with Planned Parenthood who said they are thankful for those who voted in favor of the repeal. 

“It was really a great feeling to know that our state legislature was honoring the will of the people," said Angela Florez, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.

The 15-week abortion ban still remains in place.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs is expected to sign this bill soon.

Once it's signed it will go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.

Planned Parenthood also said this gives them hope but there’s still a long way to go. 

“We also know the fight is far from over so we look forward to seeing a day in Arizona where abortions are restricted only by medical professionals and not politicians," stated Florez.

Planned Parenthood Arizona also just announced Wednesday it filed a motion with the Arizona Supreme Court to hold the 1864 abortion ban from taking effect.  

UPDATE (2:54 PM): Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) released a statement on the repeal of the 1864 abortion ban.

“A woman’s health care decisions should be between her, her doctor, and her family. The Arizona Legislature made the right choice by coming together in a bipartisan way to repeal the 1864 law that would have banned abortions in nearly all cases and punished doctors for providing critical care. More must be done to safeguard women’s health, safety, and well-being, and I will continue working with anyone to protect Arizona women’s ability to make their own decisions about their futures."

Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

UPDATE (2:43 PM): Arizona Democratic leaders gave statements on the 1864 abortion ban repeal.

“The job’s been done, and it's a proud day for our state and our Democratic team. This repeal is what the people want. The vast majority of Arizonans and the majority of Americans have asked for this. We know this is not the finish line, but this is a step in the right direction, and a step that will save lives.”

House Democratic Leader Lupe Contreras

“I’m grateful to sponsor the bill and proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues to repeal the 1864 total abortion ban because it means the people of Arizona will not have their lives and private medical decisions subjected to this brutal and archaic law. The 15-week ban that remains is still a ban, and we have important work ahead to fully restore reproductive freedom in Arizona, but this repeal was the right thing to do and it will save lives."

Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton

UPDATE (2:22 PM): Vice President Kamala Harris released a statement on the abortion ban.

“Across the country, women are living in a state of chaos and cruelty caused by Donald Trump. What is happening in Arizona is just the latest example. While Arizona Democrats have worked to clean up the devastating mess created by Trump and his extremist allies, the state’s existing ban, with no exception for rape or incest, remains in effect.

“Donald Trump is the architect of this health care crisis in Arizona and across the country – he’s said so himself. He boasts that he is ‘proudly the person responsible’ for overturning Roe. He said in an interview published just this week that states should be allowed to monitor women’s bodies and to ‘punish’ women. And he’s ready to go even further by banning abortion nationwide —  with or without the help of Congress.

“We cannot allow these attacks on reproductive freedom to stand. Joe Biden and I will never stop fighting for reproductive freedom. And together, we will defeat Donald Trump and his extreme agenda this November.”

Vice President Harris

UPDATE (2:12 PM): Following the repeal of the 1864 abortion ban, Planned Parenthood Arizona has announced that they filed a motion to the state's Supreme Court to preserve abortion access until the repeal goes into effect.

"We have said all along that we will use every possible avenue to safeguard essential care for our patients and all Arizonans, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with today’s motion.

While anti-abortion extremists in the State Legislature will continue to do everything in their power to undermine Arizonans’ freedom and criminalize essential health care, Planned Parenthood Arizona is taking action to prevent a harmful total ban on abortion from taking effect in our state. The Court’s April 9 ruling was both tragic and wrong, but it rested on trying to discern legislative intent. The Legislature has now spoken and clearly does not want the 1864 ban to be enforced. We hope the Court stays true to its word and respects this long-overdue legislative action, by quickly granting our motion to end the uncertainty over the future of abortion in Arizona."

Angela Florez, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona

Planned Parenthood Arizona says if the court denies their motion, the total abortion ban will go into effect 45 days later, "meaning abortion will become banned in Arizona, and remain the law of the land until the repeal bill takes effect," which is expected to occur 90 days after "the end of the legislative session."

UPDATE (1:39 PM): Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued the following statement:

"The majority of Arizonans support a woman’s right to make her own decisions about abortion. I'm relieved that common sense prevailed today, but this harmful ban may still take effect for some time, leaving chaos and uncertainty for Arizona women and doctors.

This reality is the result of Roe v. Wade being overturned and the only way to fix it is to restore reproductive rights once and for all."

UPDATE (1:35 PM): Angela Florez, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, has issued the following statement regarding the repeal:

"With today’s long-overdue victory, lawmakers stood with the overwhelming majority of Arizonans who support abortion access. Abortion is essential health care, and this Civil War-era law had no place dictating our reproductive freedom. 

Though we celebrate today’s important step forward toward repealing this harmful total abortion ban and safeguarding reproductive freedom in our state, we know the fight is far from over. Even with today’s repeal, the repeal law does not have an emergency effective clause and thus will not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session — which could be well into the summer. In addition, the reality is that Arizonans will still be living under a restrictive 15-week abortion ban. Further, anti-abortion extremists in the State Legislature will continue their shameless attempts to undermine Arizonans’ basic freedoms and criminalize essential health care.

Arizonans will make their voices heard and end this coordinated assault on reproductive freedom once and for all when they approve the Arizona Abortion Access Act at the ballot box this November. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona remains committed to doing everything in our power to ensure every Arizonan has the right to make their own decisions about our bodies, our lives, and our futures."

UPDATE (1:32 PM): NBC News says Democratic State Senator Anna Hernandez and Senator Stephanie Stahl Hamilton are holding a press conference on the repeal.

UPDATE (1:15 PM) - Now there are 16 ayes and 14 nays for the repeal.

UPDATE (1:14 PM): Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva issued the following statement regarding the repeal of the 1864 abortion ban:

"The Arizona Senate’s action to overturn the draconian abortion ban is a much needed moment of relief for women and families across the state. Thanks to Arizona women and advocates, the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate has finally passed the repeal of this cruel law. I applaud those voices that united to stand against ideological interference with personal health decisions. While this is a step forward for reproductive freedoms, sadly, this fight is far from over.

Donald Trump and Republicans still bear full responsibility for overturning Roe v. Wade and stripping away women’s bodily autonomy. Because of Republican’s actions, women across the country are being forced to travel to other states for abortions, face criminal prosecution, or even death for receiving critical health services. It’s unconscionable and disproportionately forces women and families with low financial means unnecessarily into harm’s way. The upcoming election will decide the future of abortion access in Arizona and our nation, and I will continue to support women and legislation that codifies the right to an abortion into law."

UPDATE (12:45 PM) - So far, there are 16 ayes and 13 nays for the repeal, while one is not voting.

UPDATE (12:37 PM): Victoria Lopez, Director of Program and Strategy for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona issued a statement regarding the repeal saying:

"We are relieved that lawmakers have finally repealed this inhumane abortion ban — something extremist politicians refused to do for far too long. Unfortunately, cruel abortion bans like the law from 1864 have been at the center of political stunts for years, causing lasting harm to people who need abortions and their providers.

Without further court intervention, Arizonans may still lose access to abortion care for months despite this eleventh-hour repeal. Politicians should never have this much power over our bodies and healthcare decisions. Voters need and deserve to take their power back with the Arizona Abortion Access Act this November."

UPDATE (12:20 PM) - Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton’s (D-Arizona) House Bill 2677 was repealed. Senator Brian Fernandez (D-Ariz.) voted for the repeal of the abortion and Senator Sine Kerr (R-Ariz.) voted against the repeal.

UPDATE (12:01 PM): The Arizona Senate has voted to repeal the 1864 abortion ban, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC).

Governor Katie Hobbs (D-Arizona) is expected to sign the bill next.

Following the repeal, Heather Williams, President of DLCC issued a statement saying:

"Make no mistake: Democrats' fierce persistence against weeks of Republican obstruction is the only reason the 1864 ban was repealed and this shows a clear contrast in leadership. As Republicans regroup to defend their 15-week ban and work to undermine the upcoming abortion ballot measure in Arizona, we are focused on flipping the two seats in each chamber that will deliver Democratic majorities in Arizona’s legislature.

The only way to protect and expand reproductive freedoms in Arizona is to elect Democrats to the state legislature. Voters have an opportunity this year to deliver Democratic majorities by flipping just two seats in each chamber. The DLCC is all hands on deck to ensure Arizonans understand the stakes in November, and we’ll continue to highlight the extreme nature of MAGA Arizona Republicans when it comes to taking away our reproductive freedoms."

PHOENIX (KYMA, KECY/NBC) -The Arizona Senate are convening at the Arizona State Capitol to vote on the repeal of the 1864 abortion ban.

Last week, the Arizona State House voted to repeal the near-total ban on abortion after a couple of weeks of Arizona Republicans blocking efforts to repeal it following the Arizona Supreme Court's ruling to reinstate the ban last month.

The ban, according to sources, punishes doctors with two-to-five years in prison for providing abortion services. However, the ban was codified in 1901, and again in 1913, to include an exception to save the woman's life.

Prior to the Senate vote, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes filed a motion with the state's Supreme Court to buy more time in the case.

To watch the livestream of the vote, see attached video.

Article Topic Follows: Arizona Politics

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