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Arizona governor repeals 1864 law banning abortion

Photo: Rebecca Noble Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Arizona Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs on the sidelines of a speech by US President Joe Biden in Tempe, September 28, 2023

France Media Agency in Los Angeles

Published yesterday at 6:38 p.m. Updated yesterday at 6:53 p.m.

  • United States

The Democratic governor of Arizona on Thursday signed into law the repeal of the law dating from 1864 which banned virtually all abortions and which had been deemed “enforceable” by the Supreme Court of this southwestern state of the United States.

“I am proud to sign this text and provide a moment of relief to Arizonans,” said Katie Hobbs in a live video broadcast, making abortion legal again up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in this state of more than seven million inhabitants.

The law of 1864 prohibited any voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) from the moment of conception, unless the mother's life was in danger.

Remained dormant since decades, this law had been considered “now applicable” on April 9 by the Arizona Supreme Court.

The right to abortion is established as a major subject of the presidential campaign in the United States. Arizona is among the swing states that could decide the final outcome.

Neither rape nor incest were considered valid exceptions, under Arizona law. 1864. The decision of the local supreme court caused great controversy in the country, being condemned by Joe Biden but also criticized in a more moderate way by Donald Trump.

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The April 9 ruling of the Arizona Supreme Court took note of the reversal of jurisprudence by the Supreme Court of the United States which annulled in June 2022 the federal guarantee of the right to abortion.

Since this decision giving states full latitude to legislate in this area, around twenty have banned or severely restricted access to abortion.

The promoters of a popular initiative announced in April that they had collected the necessary signatures to obtain a referendum to include abortion in the Arizona Constitution. This vote should take place at the same time as the November presidential election.

Outgoing Democratic President Joe Biden is making the defense of women's rights a major focus of his campaign for a second term, facing his Republican opponent Donald Trump.

The latter prides himself on having, through his appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States, succeeded in June 2022 to the cancellation of federal protection for abortion, but insists on the electoral risks of an overly conservative position on the issue.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116