Arizona House Votes to Repeal Abortion Act of 1864, Now Heads to State Senate

The Republican-controlled Arizona House approved a repeal Wednesday 1864 Abortion The legislation, which would have banned nearly all abortions, sent the measure to the state Senate.

The state Senate is scheduled to consider the legislation on May 1. The 1864 law is due to come into effect on June 8 and will overturn the current 15-week abortion ban.

In a contentious session Wednesday, three Republicans joined all Democrats in a 32-28 vote to overrule GOP House Speaker Ben Toma, who has twice blocked the bill from moving forward. Republicans control the chamber by a 31-29 margin.

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that a 160-year-old law banning nearly all abortions could be enforced — barring the procedure in all cases except to save the mother's life.

When asked Tuesday how he felt about the Democratic repeal effort in the Arizona state legislature. 1864 Abortion Prohibition Before it took effect, Democratic Rep. Stephanie Stahl of Hamilton laughed.

House Speaker Ben Tamm, R-Peoria, pauses to speak as he watches a vote on a proposed repeal of Arizona's total ban on abortion approved by the state House, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Phoenix.

Ross D. Franklin / AB

“I was told we could get a clean cancellation tomorrow, but you know, who knows, right?” Stahl Hamilton said. “Who knows who loses their nerve, you know, the night before daylight? Or the minutes before, you know? I know we have to keep trying. And the people of Arizona have to do everything we can to stop this. Ban it.”

On Wednesday, Stahl Hamilton, one of the Republicans who joined the Democratic Party, Rep. Matt Kress said he was “thankful” for allowing him to come to the polls on Wednesday.

The law is “one step closer to being repealed,” Stahl Hamilton said. The measure now heads to the state Senate.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, Post on X “The House has finally decided to do the right thing and repeal the total abortion ban of 1864,” he said, adding that he called on the Senate to do the same and “send repeal to my desk immediately.”

Arizona Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, plans to organize at the state Capitol, calling on legislators to oppose those efforts.

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