Arizona State House Votes to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban

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“Discover how Arizona’s state House successfully passed a bill to repeal the archaic 1864 abortion ban, marking a historic shift in the state’s approach to reproductive rights. Read about the bipartisan support in the legislature, the expected outcomes, and the future implications for abortion laws in Arizona.”

Arizona Repeals 1864 Abortion Ban
Arizona Repeals 1864 Abortion Ban

Arizona Abortion Ban

In a historic move, the Arizona state House successfully passed a bill to repeal the archaic 1864 abortion ban that has been a contentious issue in the state’s political and social spheres. This third attempt in recent weeks marks a significant shift in the legislative approach to abortion rights in Arizona, aligning with the broader national discourse on reproductive freedoms post-Roe v. Wade.

Background of the 1864 Abortion Ban

Originating in the Civil War era, the 1864 law criminalized abortion, categorizing it as a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone involved in performing or facilitating the procedure. This legislation has remained a relic of a vastly different societal and medical landscape, largely dormant until the recent upheaval following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Legislative Journey to Repeal

The journey to repeal this outdated law was fraught with challenges and setbacks. The Arizona state House witnessed a whirlwind of legislative activities, with multiple attempts blocked or delayed due to political maneuvering and procedural hurdles. However, persistence from the bill’s supporters finally paid off when a critical vote on Wednesday saw a rare bipartisan agreement, with three Republican lawmakers breaking ranks to join the Democrats, leading to the bill’s passage.

Senate’s Role and Expected Outcomes

Following the House’s decision, the focus shifted to the Arizona state Senate, where Republicans also hold a slight majority. A similar spirit of bipartisan support was observed last week when a motion to introduce the repeal bill was approved. The anticipation around the Senate vote is high, with expectations leaning towards a favorable outcome that would pave the way for Governor Katie Hobbs to sign the repeal into law promptly.

Political Implications and Responses

The repeal has garnered attention and support from various quarters, including the White House, signaling a shift towards more progressive abortion policies at the state level. This legislative action is viewed by many as a corrective measure against the regressive policies influenced by former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments, which have emboldened states to restrict abortion rights significantly.

Continued Republican Resistance

Despite the progress, the repeal has faced staunch opposition from several Republican legislators who argue that the bill was rushed through the process without adequate deliberation. This division within the party highlights the ongoing internal conflict and the broader national debate over reproductive rights.

Broader Impact and Future Prospects

The successful repeal of the 1864 ban would likely reinstate a more recent law that imposes a 15-week restriction on abortions, with certain exceptions. This change would provide a temporary resolution until the residents of Arizona have the opportunity to voice their opinions directly in the upcoming November elections, where a proposed constitutional amendment concerning abortion rights is expected to be on the ballot.

This amendment, if passed, would establish a fundamental right to abortion care up to the point of fetal viability, approximately the 24th week of pregnancy. It represents a potential turning point for abortion rights in Arizona, offering a chance to solidify protections that have been eroded at the federal level.


The Arizona state House’s decision to repeal the 1864 abortion ban is a monumental step towards restoring and protecting abortion rights in the state. As the bill moves to the Senate, all eyes are on Arizona as it navigates this pivotal moment in its legislative history. The outcomes of this legislative effort and the forthcoming electoral initiatives will significantly influence the landscape of reproductive rights in Arizona and potentially set a precedent for other states grappling with similar issues.

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