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Arizona House passes bill to repeal 1864 abortion ban, which will now go to Senate

A week after the Arizona House of Representatives blocked a vote to repeal the abortion ban, three House Republicans joined all House Democrats to move the bill forward


People walk past the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Phoenix.

The Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal the 1864 abortion ban the Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold earlier this month. 

The bill received a full house reading, where it passed 32-28 after three Republicans joined the Democratic minority. Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, Rep. Justin Wilmeth, R-Phoenix, and Rep. Tim Dunn, R-Yuma, voted in favor of the repeal. 

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where it is believed there are enough votes to send the bill to Hobbs' office. In a statement, she said she would sign the repeal.

“Today, I am glad to see the House follow my calls to repeal the archaic 1864 total abortion ban that could jail doctors and endanger the lives of women in Arizona," Hobbs said in a statement. "I’m thankful to House Democrats who worked relentlessly for years to repeal this draconian ban. Now, the Senate must do the right thing and send this repeal to my desk."

The Arizona Supreme Court made the ruling to uphold a pre-statehood law that bans abortion in all circumstances unless the mother's life is at risk. Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton sponsored the bill to repeal the 1864 law, which was renumbered in 1977, before the Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold it recently. The bill was revived for a third read today since stalling after a second read in January.

READ MORE: Protestors meet at Capitol while House Republicans block vote to repeal abortion ban

"Even with the repeal of the Civil War-era ban, the state will still have a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy that denies people access to critical care," said the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Angela Florez, in a statement. "And lawmakers continue to attack Arizonans’ ability to access reproductive health care. Our right to control our bodies and lives is hanging on by a thread." 

If the repeal is passed into law, there would likely be a short period where the 1864 law is still enforceable. Following that, the 2022 law that allows doctors to perform abortions before 15 weeks would be implemented.

Edited by Alysa Horton and Shane Brennan

Editor's note: This is a developing story and may be updated.

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