Arizona Legislature Expects New Efforts to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban

Arizona lawmakers are preparing for a renewed attempt on Wednesday to repeal the state’s 1864 abortion ban, which was upheld by the State Supreme Court last week in a ruling that exacerbated all the personal emotions and political firestorms surrounding abortion in a battleground state.

The court last Tuesday upheld the Civil War-era law, which bans nearly all abortions. The ruling infuriated supporters of abortion rights and presented a grave political threat to Republicans, who narrowly control both houses of the State Legislature.

Democrats’ immediate attempts to repeal the ban failed last week. A Republican member of the House had sided with Democrats and put forward a measure to repeal it, but G.O.P. leadership adjourned, delaying any action for a week since the Legislature currently meets only on Wednesdays.

As a second attempt at repeal looms, both parties are scrambling to count votes and game out legislative strategies to determine whether Democrats have found enough Republican support to strike down the law.

Former President Donald J. Trump last week called on legislators to “act immediately to remedy what has happened,” as Democrats slammed the ban as another sign of Republican extremism in a pivotal state in this fall’s election. The ban allows only an exception to save the life of the mother. Doctors prosecuted under the law could face fines and prison terms of two to five years.

Democrats likely need only two or three Republicans to vote with them to repeal the law. Activists and lobbyists have jockeyed behind the scenes to sway — or hold — the handful of Republican lawmakers whose actions could determine the law’s fate. A variety of procedural elements could also disrupt a repeal’s chance of advancing. If the House is able to pass a repeal, it is expected to head to the Senate later on Wednesday.

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