March 26, 2023 1:52 pm

Local News

Arizona in a Post Roe World

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Armand Jackson

Since the Supreme Court conservative majority ruled 6-3 in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and 5-4 to overturn Roe, the landscape of reproductive rights has drastically changed with many states already placing restrictions or outright bans on the practice of abortions with no exemptions for rape, incest, or danger to the well-being of the patient. After the ruling, Arizona state senate Republicans made a statement that the state’s 1901 abortion law, a law that was established back when Arizona was still a U.S. territory, would immediately go into affect. This law makes abortion illegal unless it’s needed to save the woman’s life. In their statement they mention that the pre-Roe abortion law and Senate Bill 1164 that Governor Doug Ducey signed into law back in March of 2022 will both go into affect.

SB 1164 bans all abortions after 15 weeks, with the only exceptions of a medical emergency threatening the life of the mother, or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a bodily function, no other exceptions including rape or incest are included in this law. It also criminalizes physicians who perform abortions outside of these criterias, prosecutes them as felons, and punishes them with jail time of two to five years. Among those who enjoyed the news of the Supreme Court’s decision was Kari Lake, a Republican candidate for Arizona’s Governor race. She has stated “I believe that abortion is the ultimate sin.” She has expressed support for the two abortion laws that have taken effect since the reversal of Roe.

It would seem that Arizona is a predominately anti-choice state with figures like Kari Lake, Representative Paul Gosar, the state’s Republican majority legislature, and Governor Ducey. However, Arizonans in areas like Pima County are more favorable towards safe and legal abortion access like many across the country and the strict views of abortion among these promiment figures do not reflect the feelings of Arizona’s residents at large. Add to that, both US senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema have expressed their disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision.

A pro-choice advocate who is running as a Democratic candidate for Arizona’s 2022 Governor race is the current Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs. She has a number of press releases on her campaign site explaining her stance on abortion access and her belief that every woman has the right to make a choice in regards to her reproductive health. In an interview with KTAR News, Hobbs has stated: “This is a decision that does not need to involve politicians or the government, it is between a woman and her doctor, often times it can be the hardest decision a woman has to make, and I don’t think the government belongs in that.”