Arizona House lawmakers pass bill to repeal 1864 abortion ban

Arizona House lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a near-total abortion ban from 1864 on the books in the state. 

The bill will now go to the state Senate after all 29 House Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor of the repeal.

The ban was held up by the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this month. 

The law, which predated Arizona’s statehood, had no exceptions for rape and incest, only for the life of the mother. 


arizona abortion protesters

Arizona residents rally for abortion rights on a street corner Tuesday on the heels of the Arizona Supreme Court decision enacting an 1864 law banning abortion, April 16, in Phoenix. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“MAGA Republicans have spent the last week lying about their stance on abortion because they know that when abortion is on the ballot, Democrats win, every time,” said Arizona Democratic Chairwoman Yolanda Bejarano after the bill was passed. 

Republican Rep. Rachel Jones, who voted against repealing the ban, said Wednesday, “I am disgusted today. Life is one of the tenets of our Republican platform. To see people go back on that value is egregious to me.”

Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma, a Republican, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the bill’s passing. 

“We should not have rushed this bill through the legislative process,” he said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “The pre-Roe law has been on the books for decades and was readopted in 1977 by Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature and signed by Democrat Gov. Raul Castro. 

“It would have been prudent and responsible to allow the courts to decide the constitutionality of the pre-Roe law. Instead, we are rushing to judgment for reasons I simply cannot understand.”

Pro-life protesters outside of the Supreme Court

Pro-life protesters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Toma added in part: “I fervently disagree with my Democrat colleagues who advocate for extremism through unlimited, unrestricted, and unregulated abortions. Abortions are not healthcare. Abortion kills life. Abortion kills the most vulnerable members of our society. Just because the mother of that child may not want that child, does not mean that the child is not precious and have inherent value.” 

He continued, “Arizonans do not want abortions on demand, partial birth abortions, abortions for children without parental consent, or dangerous abortions that jeopardize the health of pregnant women and their children. And most Arizonans do not support the killing of unborn children up to 15 weeks. I vote no.”


Katie Hobbs speaking

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has said she will sign the bill if passed by the Senate.  (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The 160-year-old law went into effect after the repeal of Roe vs. Wade in 2022 but has faced court challenges and has yet to be enforced. 

Republicans in the state have faced pressure to repeal the law as the election gets closer, including from former President Trump and former Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake. 

Wednesday’s passage was the Democrats’ third attempt after previously being blocked by Republicans. 


The Senate is expected to pass the bill repealing the law and Democratic Gov. Kate Hobbs has said she plans to sign it, which would leave the state with a 15-week abortion ban. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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