Biden blames ‘extreme’ GOP agenda for Arizona abortion ruling 

April 9, 2024

President Biden blamed the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to uphold an abortion law that is older than half a century on an “extreme” GOP agenda.

“Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest,” Biden said in a Tuesday statement.

“This cruel ban was first enacted in 1864 — more than 150 years ago, before Arizona was even a state and well before women had secured the right to vote,” the president continued. “This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom.”

The Grand Canyon State’s Supreme Court rejected arguments that it should uphold a 15-week ban on abortion in a 4-2 decision. The ban, originally passed in 2022, was enforced in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Arizona’s highest court instead ruled in favor of the enforcement of an 1864 law that makes abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for those who perform it or those who help someone get one. The court also lifted a stay on the law, resulting in it going into effect in two weeks.

“The decision made by the Arizona Supreme Court today is unconscionable and an affront to freedom,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) said in a statement. “Make no mistake, by effectively striking down a law passed this century and replacing it with one from 160 years ago, the Court has risked the health and lives of Arizonans.”

Biden said Vice President Harris and himself “stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose” in his statement on the decision.

“We will continue to fight to protect reproductive rights and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state,” he added.

In a media advisory Tuesday, the White House said Harris will visit Tucson, Ariz., Friday “to continue her leadership in the fight for reproductive freedoms.”