Arizona House Repeals State’s Historic Abortion Ban, Senate To Decide

By Staff Reporter – April 24, 2024

The Arizona House voted on Wednesday to repeal the state’s total abortion ban in a close 32-28 vote. The repeal is now in the Senate’s hands.

Three Republicans joined Democrats to eradicate Arizona’s abortion ban: Tim Dunn, Matt Gress, Justin Wilmeth. The repeal would mean that another existing law restricting abortions after 15 weeks goes into effect.

The historic abortion ban predates Arizona’s statehood and lasted up until the Supreme Court’s codification of abortion in 1973 through Roe v. Wade.

House Speaker Ben Toma, congressional candidate for District 8, said in a press release that the vote was rushed, a grave error that would allow for the slaughter of unborn children for up to 15 weeks.

“It would have been prudent and responsible to allow the courts to decide the constitutionality of the pre-Roe law,” said Toma. “I feel compelled to reiterate my personal view that this decision to repeal the abortion ban in Arizona effectively means that we are allowing the murder of unborn children up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.”

Toma chided Democrats for a lack of decorum on the House floor, citing outbursts and personal attacks. The speaker also warned that the opposing party would continue to push for a wider window for abortions, all the way up to birth — effectively, infanticide.

“Democrats are pushing radicalism and will not relent until Arizona recognizes abortion on demand and abortion through 9 months of pregnancy,” said Toma.

One of the three Republicans to join Democrats to repeal the abortion ban, Dunn, defended his vote in a press release insisting that he is pro-life, but that abortions should still be allowed in cases of rape and incest — situations for which the historic abortion ban didn’t grant exceptions. Dunn said his decision was the “most pro-life vote” possible.

“Should the pre-Roe law remain in effect, I firmly believe more lives will be lost over time. The public backlash would result in codifying disturbing and unlimited abortions in the Arizona Constitution, which is something that I cannot allow to happen,” said Dunn.

Gress also issued a press release claiming he is pro-life. However, Gress didn’t go into details about how the abortion ban went too far. Rather, Gress lumped those supportive of total abortion bans and those supportive of unfettered abortion together as extremists.

“As someone who is both pro-life and the product of strong women in my life, I refuse to buy into the false notion pushed by the extremes on both sides of this issue that we cannot respect and protect women and defend new life at the same time,” said Gress.

Democratic lawmakers celebrated the vote. The author of the bill repealing the historic abortion ban, House Bill 2677, was Democratic Representative Stephanie Stahl Hamilton.

The House narrowly rejected a motion to transmit the bill immediately to Governor Katie Hobbs, 30-30, should the Senate have returned the bill unamended. Gress was the sole Republican who joined his Democratic colleagues in voting for that motion.

Hobbs praised the abortion ban repeal, calling the law “archaic” and a threat to women’s lives. As Toma predicted, Hobbs indicated that the securing of abortions up to 15 weeks was only the beginning.

“I will do everything I can to stop harmful legislation that strips women’s control of their bodies. But there is much more to do,” said Hobbs. “I encourage each Arizonan to continue to speak out and fight for your reproductive freedoms.”

AZ Free News