Arizona Supreme Court abortion decision slammed by state Republicans: ‘Today’s ruling is a disaster’

Arizona Republicans are blasting the state Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that upholds a Civil War-era near-total abortion ban, claiming the decision goes too far in a state where abortion rights will likely weigh heavily on the outcome of the 2024 election.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruling bans abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest, and the only exception is in cases in which the mother faces immediate life-threatening conditions. Healthcare providers who perform the abortion unlawfully will receive a mandated jail sentence of two to five years, as well, under the ruling.

The court ruling, based on a territorial law passed before Arizona was a state, issued a wave of disapproval and outrage from both Democrats and Republicans, including vulnerable members of Arizona’s House delegation and Senate candidate Kari Lake.

Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) blasted the law as “archaic” and going way further than the state’s current restrictions on abortion that ban the procedure after 15 weeks.

“Today’s ruling is a disaster for women and providers,” Ciscomani said in a statement on Tuesday. “In Arizona, our 15 week law protected the rights of women and new life. It respected women and the difficult decision of ending a pregnancy — one I will never personally experience and won’t pretend to understand.”

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), who had celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade through a personal story regarding abortion, also came out in opposition to the state high court’s ruling.

“I do not support today’s ruling from the AZ Supreme Court,” Schweikert said. “This issue should be decided by Arizonans, not legislated from the bench. I encourage the state legislature to address this issue immediately.”

Former Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the 15-week ban into law, said he did so because it was a “thoughtful and conservative policy” that Arizonans can “actually agree on.”

“The ruling today is not the outcome I would have preferred, and I call on our elected leaders to heed the will of the people and address this issue with a policy that is workable and reflective of our electorate,” Ducey said in a post to X.

Arizona’s ruling comes just one day after former President Donald Trump issued a lengthy statement on his stance on abortion. Despite taking credit for overturning Roe, he argued against a national ban on abortion and called for the decision to rest with the states, drawing heavy criticism from hard-line conservative and anti-abortion groups.

Lake, who is a staunch supporter of Trump and a pro-life supporter, spoke out against the court’s decision. She said the ruling is “out of step with Arizonans.”

“I wholeheartedly agree with President Trump — this is a very personal issue that should be determined by each individual state and her people,” Lake said in a statement on Tuesday. “I oppose today’s ruling, and I am calling on Katie Hobbs and the State Legislature to come up with an immediate common sense solution that Arizonans can support.”

The court’s ruling could have significant ramifications for Republicans as they seek to flip Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-AZ) seat red in 2024 and as Trump hopes to win the battleground state as he faces a likely presidential matchup against President Joe Biden this fall.

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Sinema, who is not seeking reelection in November, released a statement on Tuesday blasting the court decision, stating that Arizonans should not have to travel out of state “just to receive basic, sometimes even life-saving, health care.”

“A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor,” Sinema said. “Today’s decision by the Arizona Supreme Court endangers women’s health, safety, and well-being.”

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