ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate Republican leader responds to state Supreme Court abortion ruling

Apr 10, 2024, 1:00 PM

PHOENIX – The Republican leader of the Arizona Senate said Wednesday he wanted the state Supreme Court to rule the way it did on abortion.

The state’s high court issued a decision Tuesday that will reinstate a near-total ban on abortions. The only exception is when the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother.

“It was hoped that it was going to happen by pro-lifers, myself included,” Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “We were looking forward to a day where we could protect life.”

What was Arizona Supreme Court abortion ruling?

The state Supreme Court decided that the near-total ban, which originated in 1864, before Arizona was a state, should supersede a 15-week limit passed by Republican lawmakers, including Petersen, in 2022.

The 2022 law was passed three months before the U.S. Supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that provided abortion protections at the federal level since 1973.

After a lengthy legal battle, the Arizona high court ruled that the pre-statehood ban takes precedence because of a provision in the 2022 law that said it didn’t repeal existing legislation.

“They got the ruling correct,” Petersen said. “They just followed the plain text of the bill that was passed a few years ago, which basically just said if Roe v. Wade gets overturned then the territorial law that was put in place will go into effect.”

Will Arizona lawmakers change abortion law before election?

Petersen acknowledged that some members of his caucus aren’t happy with the ruling, which is expected to energize Democratic turnout in the upcoming election. An initiative that would essentially revert Arizona abortion law to the standard of Roe v. Wade is expected to be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Petersen said Republicans will meet to determine if they want to pursue new legislation that adjusts the law, but he’s unsure if he can get them all on the same page.

“I’m looking for a solution with my caucus,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to be talking to them about. I feel like that can give us the best product, but there are members calling for other things,” he said.

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Arizona Senate Republican leader responds to state Supreme Court abortion ruling