by Eric Lendrum
On Thursday, the Arizona State Legislature passed a bill that would ban all abortions after 15 weeks.
ABC News reports that the Arizona House of Representatives voted along party lines to approve the bill, which is similar to a law already passed in Mississippi that has sparked perhaps the most influential Supreme Court case on abortion since 1973’s Roe v. Wade. Having already passed the State Senate, the bill now goes to the desk of Governor Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.), who is expected to sign it.
The Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, could potentially see the Court’s 6-3 conservative majority finally overturn the nearly 50-year precedent set by Roe, which legalized abortion nationwide. It is generally expected that, if Roe is overturned, then the matter of abortion will be returned to the individual states to be decided on a state-by-state basis.
As such, multiple Republican-led states have begun passing their own pro-life laws in anticipation of such a ruling from the high court. Another 15-week abortion ban has passed the Florida State Legislature, with Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) expected to sign it. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has already signed a 6-week ban into law, and the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a near-total ban on all abortions, with the sole exception of abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother.
“The state has an obligation to protect life, and that is what this bill is about,” said State Senator Nancy Barto (R-Ariz.), the sponsor of the bill.
The bill would allow for felony charges to be filed against any doctors who perform abortions after 15 weeks, and such doctors could also lose their licenses to practice medicine. The bill does not allow for the prosecution of the women who attempt to have such an abortion, and also includes exceptions to the 15-week ban in the event that the life of the mother is at risk.
The bill is only the latest pro-life measure that has been passed by the legislature in recent months. One law that has already been signed by Governor Ducey would see the state automatically outlaw all abortions in the event that the Supreme Court does overturn Roe. The court’s decision on the case is expected sometime this summer.
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Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.
Photo “Nancy Barto” by Nancy Barto. Background Photo “Embryo Week 9-10” by lunar caustic. CC BY 2.0.