". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


3 Arizona Republicans Vote for Bill Repealing Pro-Life Protections

April 25, 2024

Before Arizona was a state, the Arizona territorial legislature upheld a law that protects unborn children from abortion. Passed in 1864, the 160-year-old law was only reversed because of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. But as Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said recently on his daily podcast “The Briefing,” “The game changer there was Roe v. Wade. The second game changer was the reversal of Roe v. Wade, nearly a half century later in 2022, the Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court.”

With the Dobbs decision in 2022, Roe was no more. As a result, the Arizona Supreme Court revived the law on the basis that it “still takes precedence.” Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, previously told The Washington Stand, “The focus for [this decision] is that the Arizona Supreme Court did what justices are supposed to do: they upheld the rule of law. They did not make policy.”

But on the heels of the decision, a back-and-forth battle within the state of Arizona has arisen, raising a variety of questions, concerns, and arguments. For one, some have questioned whether the Arizona law protecting life from conception would override a newer law, signed in March 2022, that puts 15-week pro-life protections within the state. Moreover, pro-abortion activists concerned over the limits are actively “working to codify the right to kill the unborn,” Breitbart reported. Additionally, they wrote, “Arizona for Abortion Access … said last week that they had amassed more than 500,000 signatures, well past the 383,923 required for the proposed amendment to qualify for the ballot in November. If the abortion measure makes it on the November ballot, it would need a simple majority to pass.”

Meanwhile, Arizona Republicans appear to be wrestling with what stance to take on the decision. As NBC News highlighted, “On their third attempt in three weeks, Arizona state House lawmakers voted Wednesday to pass a bill that would repeal the near-total ban on abortion from 1864 that was upheld by the battleground state’s Supreme Court earlier this month.” Three of those votes came from state House Republicans.

As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins pointed out on Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch,” “This has been three weeks running, and it finally happened … with three Republicans crossing over to join with the Democrats.” He posed the question: Does “national pressure on the Arizona House” have a lot to do with this? To which Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma (R) responded, “There was a lot of pressure to do this.”

He continued, “[Q]uite frankly … I’m 100% pro-life. I believe that firmly. I believe that we’re all made in God’s image and, as such, that all life should be protected. And so, I did stand against … what ended up happening” with the vote. But as evidenced by the three GOP votes, not all stood against the pro-abortion pressure. “[W]hat’s really going on here,” Toma added, “is we’re trying to defeat a ballot initiative that effectively would allow abortion all the way through nine months … which is just unconscionable.”

For Toma, it boils down to one main objective: “Republicans need to get unified on this issue.” It’s time to say, “‘Enough is enough,’” the Arizona speaker insisted. “… [This] abortion initiative goes way too far.” It’s time to “put our disagreements behind us on what is reasonable and what isn’t,” because “we can all agree that what they’re trying to do” by putting this abortion initiative on the ballot “is unreasonable and immoral. And so therefore, it needs to be stopped.”

Toma concluded, “The Democrats have been very clear about this. They want abortion on demand without restrictions, and we cannot allow that to happen.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.