Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provides updates to state abortion law

Jun 25, 2022, 1:00 PM
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)...
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)
(AP Photo/Bob Christie, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provided clarity on abortion laws in Arizona following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She joined the Gaydos and Chad Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday, explaining the law she helped draft to enforce a ban on abortion after 15-weeks of pregnancy might not become the states underlying law on abortion due to provisions in the bill.

She said the bill mostly copied the law that was written in Mississippi and was at the forefront of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade.

“We promoted a two-pronged plan to copy the 15-week ban because that would protect many more lives if the Supreme Court simply upheld that law,” Barto said. “Our 15-week bill – Senate Bill 1164 – had a really important provision in that it made sure that our underlying pre-Roe law that bans most abortions all together in Arizona, which does not get preempted by the 15-week ban.”

After the decision was made to not just uphold Dobbs v. Jackson but overturn Roe v. Wade, that provision came into play.

“Arizona’s underlying law is now enforceable,” Barto said.

In 1901, Arizona passed a bill to ban nearly all abortions in the state. This bill now takes over as the underlying state law as Arizona awaits 90 days for the 15-week ban to be codified into law.

However, Barto explained that the original 1901 bill is not as cut and dry as it may seem.

“There are technicalities on that (1901 law) because there is an injunction on the law,” Barto said.

That injunction means the 15-week ban may not be so obsolete despite the fact the 1901 law already covers what was written in Senate Bill 1164.

All told, Barto believes that the Dobbs v. Jackson decision was a win for the state of Arizona because of what Roe v. Wade allowed to take place.

“With Roe in place, it allowed abortion up until birth,” Barto said. “Its put a crimp in Arizona’s law along with many other states that prohibited abortion, except Roe just overturned everything and made our laws unenforceable. Now the state can do what we will and protect the lives of the unborn and women.”

In terms of protecting women going forward, Barto left room for ambiguity with potential future legislation.

“Rape and incest truly are horrific crimes and we need to continue to do all we can to care for these women who are victims, but we also can’t pretend that abortion is going to fix that horrible injustice when in fact abortion makes that emotional trauma even worse,” Barto said.

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Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto provides updates to state abortion law