Arizona House Passes Bill to Scrap 1864 Near-Total Abortion Ban

An anti-abortion activist holds a model of a fetus during a protest outside of the Longwor
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Arizona state House lawmakers voted on Wednesday to repeal an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions after a few Republicans joined Democrats in passing the bill. 

The vote was the third try in three weeks to repeal the abortion restriction, after the Arizona Supreme Court issued a decision earlier this month upholding the Civil-War era law over the state’s newer 15-week abortion limit, NBC News reported

“Amid mounting pressure” three GOP state representatives — Matt Gress, Tim Gunn, and Justin Wilmeth, joined 29 Democrats to repeal the law, which makes performing an abortion or helping a woman obtain one a felony punishable by two to five years in prison, according to the report. 

The passage in the House comes after members of the state Senate voted last week to introduce a bill that would repeal the 1864 law. In that vote, two Republicans joined every Democrat.

“The state Senate could vote on the repeal as early as next Wednesday, after the bill comes on the floor for a ‘third reading,’ as is required under chamber rules,” according to the report. 

Republicans who were against repealing the law reportedly “pleaded with their colleagues” to reject the effort.

“We should not have rushed this bill through the legislative process,” Republican state House Speaker Ben Toma said. “Instead, today we are rushing to judgment.”

“It breaks my heart that you’re here to witness this,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham before voting against the bill. “I’m proud of my Republican caucus that has fought this off as long as it has,” he added.  

“To see how this has been turned against one party and used as a weaponization of the issue is disgusting,” he said. Grantham reportedly stripped Gress and Democrat Assistant Minority Leader Oscar De Los Santos of their committee assignments following the vote. 

The 1864 law is expected to go into effect on June 8, although Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes has promised not to enforce the law and to find a way to delay the date. Mayes and Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) have also been working with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to allow Arizonans to get abortions in California.

RELATED: Democrats Tee Up Abortion Until Birth After Arizona Supreme Court Follows Law as Written

Some prominent Arizona Republicans have also notably distanced themselves from the Arizona Supreme Court’s rulings, including Senate candidate Kari Lake and former Gov. Doug Ducey. Former President Donald Trump told reporters he thinks the 1864 law goes too far.

The state Supreme Court decision comes as pro-abortion activists are moving forward with a proposed amendment that would create a constitutional right to abortion in Arizona.

Arizona is one of at least a dozen states where pro-abortion activists are working to codify the right to kill the unborn.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.


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