What to expect from Arizona State Senate on Wednesday on abortion



(The Center Square) – The Arizona State Senate is expected to see some movement on abortion policy on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1734 is likely to be brought up for a full vote, but Democrats may make a motion to bring House Bill 2677, which passed the House last week with three Republicans and all Democrats voting in favor. The bills would both repeal the abortion law that bans the practice in all circumstances except if a mother’s life is at risk.

“Procedurally I think what we expect tomorrow is that the Senate Democrats will make another motion in order to be able to vote immediately to have a full floor vote in the Senate on the abortion ban repeal,” Sen. Priya Sundareshan, D-Tucson, said.

“That motion will probably include referencing the bill that was introduced two weeks ago by Sen. Anna Hernandez because that’s the Senate version. It is identical to the Stahl-Hamilton bill that was passed out of the house last week,” she added. “What I expect us to try to do is to bring Sen. Hernandez’s bill to the floor vote, but immediately swap it for the Stahl-Hamilton bill so that we will actually be voting for the Stahl-Hamilton version. It’s the same because they’re identical and we would be able to do that. And so that’s our plan.”

“We will be leading that effort and we hope that when it comes to the floor vote we will get two Republicans to join us and that it will be voted through. It then has to return to the house briefly before it can be transmitted to the governor,” the senator continued.

Republican Sens. T.J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick have expressed support for the repeal, but differ from Democrats, as the Republicans say the 15-week law passed in 2022 should remain in place. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled 4-2 earlier this month that would allow a stay to be lifted on the law which was originally created in 1864 and then reaffirmed by state leaders in 1977.

If a repeal is signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs, then it will take 90 days after the legislative session concludes before it takes effect. The session typically ends when both chambers pass a budget, which has a deadline of June 30 and currently has negotiations in progress.

The law was expected to go into effect on June 8, but a rejected motion to reconsider made by Attorney General Kris Mayes to the court has now brought the date back to June 27. Even though it would technically be enforceable after that day, an Executive Order from Hobbs brings abortion-related cases to the Attorney General’s office, who has said they would not enforce the ban.

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