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Arizona Senate passes abortion ban repeal, heads to Hobbs’ desk

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(The Center Square) – The Arizona State Senate voted to repeal the abortion law that would ban almost all abortions unless a mother’s life is at risk in a narrow vote, with two Republicans siding with Democrats.

The Senate voted on House Bill 2677, which Sen. Anna Hernandez motioned to substitute the Senate version of the repeal for that legislation to bring it to Gov. Katie Hobbs’ desk for a signature sooner. However, it will take 90 days after the legislative session adjourns for the repeal to take place, given that Hobbs signs the bill.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled 4-2 last month to allow a stay to be lifted on the law, clarifying whether that or a 15-week law passed in 2022 could take effect.

“I’m here to protect more babies. I vote aye,” Sen. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, said in a speech on the floor explaining her vote, sharing stories on her own experiences as a mother.

However, several lawmakers were upset with how the process went.

“What you just witnessed was a violation of the process,” Senate Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli said regarding the motion for the legislation to bypass the committee.

“America is on the downslide,” Sen. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, said in explaining his vote against the repeal.

However, attempted legal action is still ongoing with the ruling. Attorney General Kris Mayes is asking the court to delay the issuing of the mandate to allow the stay to be lifted on the law by 90 days, as the office may try to ask the United States Supreme Court to look at the case.

“My office needs time to thoroughly evaluate these issues before deciding whether or not to ask the United States Supreme Court to review our state court’s decision,” Mayes said in a statement.

It was originally supposed to take effect June 8, but after Mayes put in a motion for the court to reconsider its decision, the court rejected the motion but it forced a delay of when the mandate could be issued, pushing the estimated date back to June 27.

Regardless, voters are expected to have their say come November on the state’s abortion policy, as there is a ballot initiative for a proposed constitutional amendment allowing abortion up to “fetal viability” is underway. Some Republicans in the House have also floated the possibility of passing ballot referrals on abortion as well.

Democrats have considered the vote a victory in the process.

“Democrats in the House and Senate delivered the repeal of the 1864 ban, despite Republicans attempts to stall, confuse voters, and lie about their records,” Sen. Priya Sundareshan said in a statement on Wednesday in her capacity as Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Co-Chair.

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