Lawmakers repeal 19th century law banning virtually all abortions

Fourteen Democrats on the Arizona Senate were joined by two Republicans in securing the votes needed to repeal the 19th century law (Picture: Reuters)

Lawmakers in Arizona have voted to repeal a 19th century law banning nearly all abortions three weeks after the state’s Supreme Court revived it.

All 14 Democrats on the Arizona Senate were joined by two Republicans in a 16-14 vote on Wednesday advancing a bill repealing the Civil War-era ban.

The bill, which last week narrowly passed the Arizona House, is expected to be signed by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs.

On April 9, the state Supreme Court, with justices all appointed by Republicans, ruled 4-2 that the ban could be enforced because Roe v Wade was overturned.

The 1864 law predating Arizona’s statehood allowed abortions to be performed only to save a patient’s life, and did not permit them in cases of rape or incest. Additionally, the state’s highest court suggested that doctors performing abortions could be sentenced to two to five years in prison.

Hobbs said she plans to quickly sign the bill to officially repeal the law.

‘The devastating consequences of this archaic ban are why I’ve called for it to be repealed since day one of my administration,’ stated Hobbs.

‘Arizona women should not have to live in a state where politicians make decisions that should be between a woman and her doctor.

‘While this repeal is essential for protecting women’s lives, it is just the beginning of our fight to protect reproductive healthcare in Arizona.’

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