ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate passes bill to repeal near-total abortion ban, sends it to governor

May 1, 2024, 12:13 PM | Updated: 2:26 pm

Republican state Sen. Shawnna Bolick speaks before voting in favor of a bill repeal Arizona's near-...

Republican state Sen. Shawnna Bolick speaks before voting in favor of a bill repeal Arizona's near-total abortion ban on May 1, 2024. (KTAR News Photos)

(KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX – A bill to repeal Arizona’s near-total abortion ban is a signature away from becoming law after the state Senate passed it on Wednesday.

Two Republicans senators, Shawnna Bolick and T.J. Shope, joined the Democratic caucus in approving a repeal bill passed a week earlier by the state House.

House Bill 2677 now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has been imploring the Legislature to pass it.

Before the 16-14 final passage, Bolick and Shope joined Senate Democrats in votes to bypass usual procedures and bring the bill to the floor immediately.

“Today, I am glad to see the Senate answered my call and voted to repeal Arizona’s 1864 total abortion ban, and I look forward to quickly signing the repeal into law,” Hobbs said in a statement. “This total abortion ban would have jailed doctors, threatened the lives of women across our state and stripped millions of Arizonans of their bodily autonomy. The devastating consequences of this archaic ban are why I’ve called for it to be repealed since day one of my administration. Thank you to Democratic members of the House and Senate for working tirelessly with me to repeal this draconian law.”

What is Arizona’s near-total abortion ban?

The near-total ban, which originated in 1864, before Arizona became a state, permits abortions only to save the patient’s life — and provides no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest.

In a ruling last month, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the law, which says that anyone who assists in an abortion can be sentenced to 2-5 years in prison.

A 2022 statute banning the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy will continue as Arizona’s prevailing abortion law once the repeal goes into effect.

What happens next for Arizona abortion law after Senate passes repeal?

Even if Hobbs signs the bill, there still could be a period when nearly all abortions would be outlawed in Arizona. The bill didn’t have an emergency clause, so it won’t take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

Regardless, the near-total ban can’t be enforced before June 27, according to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes.

“I look forward to Gov. Hobbs signing the repeal into law as soon as possible,” Mayes said Wednesday. “However, without an emergency clause that would allow the repeal to take effect immediately, the people of Arizona may still be subjected to the near-total abortion ban for a period of time this year. Rest assured, my office is exploring every option available to prevent this outrageous 160-year-old law from ever taking effect.”

After Wednesday’s vote, Planned Parenthood Arizona filed a motion with the Arizona Supreme court to stay the issuance of its final order on the ban now that it is being repealed.

“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, said in a press release.

Meanwhile, advocates are collecting signatures for a ballot measure allowing abortions until a fetus could survive outside the womb, typically around 24 weeks, with exceptions — to save the parent’s life, or to protect her physical or mental health. If voters pass the measure in November, it would essentially restore Arizona’s abortion law to the way it was before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Republican lawmakers, in turn, are considering putting one or more competing abortion proposals on the November ballot.

A leaked planning document outlined the approaches being considered by House Republicans, such as codifying existing abortion regulations, proposing a 14-week ban that would be “disguised as a 15-week law” because it would allow abortions until the beginning of the 15th week, and a measure that would prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they’re pregnant.

House Republicans have not yet publicly released any such proposed ballot measures.

How did abortion ban repeal pass Arizona House?

Democrats have been scrambling to thwart the near-total abortion ban since the state Supreme Court ruled to uphold it on April 9.

Their effort picked up steam last Wednesday, when enough Republicans joined House Democrats to pass the repeal bill in that chamber.

GOP Reps. Tim Dunn and Matt Gress voted with Democrats to bring the bill to a vote, and they were joined by Republican Justin Wilmeth for the 32-28 final passage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A 2-year-old boy is in critical condition after a drowning incident in a backyard pool in Phoenix. ...

KTAR.com

2-year-old boy dead after being pulled from Phoenix pool

A 2-year-old boy died after he was pulled from a pool in Phoenix on Wednesday evening. It is unknown how long the child was in the pool.

5 hours ago

Light rail service in Tempe is going to be affected starting next week. (Valley Metro Photo)...

KTAR.com

Light rail track repairs to affect service in Tempe starting next week

Valley Metro Light Rail service will be impacted in two Tempe locations over the next few weeks while track repairs are made.

6 hours ago

Secure the Border Act: Arizona Senate votes to send law to House...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona Senate passes controversial Secure the Border Act

The Arizona Senate voted to pass the Secure the Border Act on May 22, 2024, which sends the controversial law to the Arizona House.

9 hours ago

CD-3 Democratic candidates debate before primary elections...

Serena O'Sullivan

Watch: Arizona Congressional District 3 Democratic primary debate

Rep. Ruben Gallego, who represents Congressional District 3, isn't running for reelection. These CD-3 Democratic candidates want his spot.

9 hours ago

CD-3 Republican candidates primary: Watch May 22, 2024 debate...

Serena O'Sullivan

Watch: Arizona Congressional District 3 Republican primary debate

Arizona Congressional District 3 is traditionally Democratic. However, these CD-3 Republican candidates want to flip it from blue to red.

11 hours ago

CD-3 Republican candidates primary: Watch May 22, 2024 debate...

Sponsored Content by

Arizona Congressional District 3 is traditionally Democratic. However, these CD-3 Republican candidates want to flip it from blue to red.

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Arizona Senate passes bill to repeal near-total abortion ban, sends it to governor