Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Signs Abortion Ban Repeal Bill

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs has signed a bill to repeal a long-standing ban on nearly all abortions in the state. The ban, which originated in 1864 during the early territorial days, prohibited doctors from performing abortions except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the mother.

The significance of this repeal lies in its alignment with a 2022 law that permits abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. Governor Hobbs emphasized the urgency of repealing the ban, particularly in light of the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion rights.

However, despite the repeal, the ban is expected to remain in effect temporarily due to procedural rules, with implementation likely to occur this summer. The Arizona Supreme Court recently reinstated the ban, adding complexity to the timeline for its removal.

The legislative process leading to the repeal saw the Arizona House voting in favor of it last week, followed by the Senate’s approval on Wednesday, culminating in Governor Hobbs’ signature.

Looking ahead, voters will have the opportunity to express their stance on abortion access through the Arizona Abortion Access Act in the upcoming November elections. This initiative aims to permit abortions up to the point of fetal viability, typically around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Additionally, there are expectations that House Republicans may introduce several measures to the November ballot, potentially competing with the Arizona for Abortion Access initiative. However, as of now, no specific proposals have been put forth in the Legislature.

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