Arizona House repeals near-total abortion ban; advocacy groups react

The Arizona state Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Arizona state Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. | Screenshot: Google Maps

The Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal the state's near-total resriction on abortion amid a divided government and an upcoming referendum that could establish a right to abortion in the state. 

The Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives approved House Bill 2677 in a 32-28 vote Wednesday. Three Republicans joined all Democrats to vote in favor of the measure, which would repeal the state's abortion ban upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this month if enacted.

The measure must still pass the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate before it can go to the desk of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has described the bill as the "right thing" in a statement condemning the legislature's previous failures to repeal the legislation.

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If passed, the 15-week abortion restriction enacted in 2022 would replace the near-total abortion prohibition as the law of the land in Arizona. Voters in the state are slated to weigh in on a ballot measure that would establish a constitutional right to abortion if passed. 

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life activist group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, weighed in on the developments in Arizona in a statement Wednesday.

"We mourn for the loss of the children who would have been protected, and the mothers who would have received life-affirming help to address their holistic needs, under Arizona's strongest pro-life law," she said.

"After months of confusion, the people of Arizona will soon have clarity on the state's abortion laws: a 15-week abortion ban for the unborn who can feel excruciating pain, with exceptions for life of the mother, rape, and incest," Dannenfelser added. "Between now and November, the far Left and pro-abortion forces will spend tens of millions of dollars to muddy the waters, fearmonger, and sow confusion to advance an extreme abortion agenda."

"Their goal is to repeal Arizona's 15-week abortion law and replace it with a constitutional amendment that would allow unlimited painful late-term abortions in the fifth, sixth, seventh month of pregnancy and beyond," she added.

Dannenfelser called on Republican candidates at the state and federal level to campaign "vigorously in support of Arizona's 15-week protection with exceptions and in opposition to the extreme no-limits abortion amendment."  

The liberal legal group ACLU of Arizona said in a statement Wednesday that the repeal of the law "is long overdue."

"[W]e look forward to a full repeal that puts an end to this harmful and dangerous ban," the group stated. "Arizonans deserve to have access to the healthcare they need, when they need it."

ACLU of Arizona supports the effort to establish a constitutional right to abortion in Arizona. If approved by voters, Arizona will join four other states in passing a referendum to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling determining that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion.

Voters in California, Michigan and Vermont approved such measures in 2022, while Ohio followed suit last year. 

Following the Dobbs decision, several states implemented laws banning abortions in nearly all cases or restricting them to the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

Other states that prohibit abortions in almost all cases are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Arizona had sought to enact its near-total ban on abortion, but court rulings prevented the state from doing so until earlier this month. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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