BREAKING: Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Dangerous 1864 Total Abortion Ban Law

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WASHINGTON — In a gut-wrenching decision, the Arizona Supreme Court today ruled that virtually all abortions should be banned by reinstating an archaic, near-total abortion ban from 1864. The law also punishes doctors with 2-5 years prison time for providing abortion services. This law is so old that it precedes Arizona’s statehood status by nearly five decades. Arizona already had a restrictive abortion ban on the books thanks to the Republican-controlled legislature, which passed a law that includes no exceptions for rape or incest, revokes the licenses of abortion providers who violate its provisions, and imposes unnecessary hurdles for women seeking care. 

This case illustrates the importance of investing in this ballot level to counter threats to fundamental freedoms posed by Republican-controlled state legislatures and courts. As the DLCC outlined in a memo last month, twenty-five states – all controlled by Republican legislatures – have enacted laws to ban or restrict abortion earlier than the standard previously protected by Roe. Arizona is a top priority for the DLCC this cycle – 2024 is a pivotal opportunity to flip both the state House and Senate given recent statewide success for Democrats. Arizona Republicans have proven themselves too extreme and out of step with the people of Arizona to govern and it is time for a change.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement:

“Today is a very dark day for Arizona. An archaic, dangerous law from 1864 that bans abortion across the board is completely out of touch with reality and where Arizona communities are today. Republicans in Arizona’s legislature already passed an egregiously restrictive abortion ban, which has put women’s lives in danger and criminalized abortion providers. Make no mistake: reinstating the 1864 law will have deadly consequences. Today’s ruling heightens the stakes of the 2024 elections – it has never been more important to elect champions of reproductive freedoms to the state legislatures to balance the extremism of the court. We are just a handful of seats away from flipping each chamber of the Arizona state legislature, which would dramatically transform the landscape of power and freedoms in the state, and allow Democrats to protect Arizonans’ abortion rights. Abortion is on the ballot, and Arizona is one of the most important battlegrounds in 2024.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.