Trump tells Arizona legislature to act after GOP blocks bills repeal 1864 abortion ban

April 12, 2024

Former President Trump on Friday urged Arizona lawmakers to act “as fast as possible” to adjust the state’s abortion policy after a state Supreme Court ruling upheld an 1864 law and made performing the procedure a felony.

The comments marked the latest fallout of the decision, which has left Republicans scrambling to respond as Democrats relentlessly hammer Trump on the issue of abortion.

“The Supreme Court in Arizona went too far on their Abortion Ruling, enacting and approving an inappropriate Law from 1864,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “So now the Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened.”

“Remember, it is now up to the States and the Good Will of those that represent THE PEOPLE,” Trump added, saying there would “ideally” be exceptions for cases of rape, incest and instances where the life of the mother is at risk.

Trump’s plea came after Republicans in the Arizona legislature earlier in the week blocked attempts from Democrats to undo the court-imposed ban on abortions.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Civil War-era law passed before Arizona was even a state should be enforced. The court ruled to lift a stay on the law, meaning it goes into effect in 14 days.  

However, the justices also sent the case back to a lower trial court to sort out questions about the law’s constitutionality.

The century-old law makes abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs or helps a woman obtain an abortion. It includes an extremely narrow exception allowing for an abortion “when it is necessary” to save a pregnant person’s life.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) called for the 1864 ban to be repealed, and the state’s Democratic attorney general has said she will not enforce any bans on abortion.

Hobbs on Friday scoffed at Trump’s rhetoric around the issue.

“I am pretty tired of cleaning up Donald Trump’s messes in Arizona,” she told “The View” on ABC. “This is really nothing but political opportunism coming from these folks who wanted this. this is what they wanted when they worked to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Trump earlier this week said it should be left up to the states to determine abortion policy, while appearing to say he would not sign a federal ban.

Trump has frequently expressed pride in appointing the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, and his White House supported GOP legislation that passed the House during his first term that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Vice President Harris traveled Friday to Arizona, where she was set to blame Trump directly for the situation unfolding in Arizona and warn a second Trump term would lead to more abortion bans.