Arizona governor slams GOP lawmakers who criticized new abortion ruling 

April 10, 2024

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) took aim at GOP lawmakers who criticized a court ruling Tuesday that held up an 1864 law that made performing an abortion a felony in the state.

Hobbs said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the decision was “very harmful” for the state, noting that Arizonians are “reeling” from the ruling issued earlier today. She said she called on the legislature to repeal the “archaic ban” as soon as she took office.

“I renewed that call at the beginning of this legislative session,” Hobbs continued. “The fact is that some of the Republicans right now, who are saying that this decision went too far, are the same politicians who celebrated the Dobbs decision, which paved the way for this court ruling today.”

“And the Speaker of the House and the Senate President both weighed in in this case with amicus brief, urging the court to do exactly what it did today,” she added.

The Arizona Supreme Court rejected arguments on Tuesday that it should uphold the current 15-week abortion ban signed in 2022 by then-Gov. Doug Ducey (R) that was enforced after the end of Roe v. Wade. Instead, the court ruled that the 1864 law — passed before Arizona was even a state — should be enforced.

The Civil War-era law makes performing or helping a pregnant person receive an abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison. It also includes does not include exceptions in the cases of rape or incest, instead only giving exceptions for “when it is necessary” to save the pregnant person’s life.

Some Republicans who have shown support for abortion bans, including GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake, have said they oppose the ruling.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hobbs called on the legislature “to do the right thing right now and repeal this 1864 ban and protect access to reproductive health care.” She reiterated on Tuesday that an executive order signed last year that bars county attorneys from prosecuting women and doctors for receiving and performing abortions “still stands.”

“It just prevents an extreme county attorney from using this ban to criminalize women and doctors for seeking the care of providing the care that their patients need and would provide consolidation with the Attorney General,” she said, noting that the executive order has not been tested yet.