DWSEA Guest Commentary With AZ List Political Director Claire Knipe

I was raised in a very Catholic community, attending the same Catholic school my mom and her five siblings went to. It is within this community, often one of the most outspoken against abortion access, that I found the need for advocacy. The idea of taking care of and showing up for people you may not even know was so foundational to our community that I internalized it as the most important thing one can do with their lives. As I began to grow up and get involved in local Arizona politics, I found the attacks on women and reproductive rights, often from the same community I had grown up in, a contradiction to everything this community had taught me.

I started as an intern with Arizona List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice, Democratic women, in 2016 and am proud of the six years I have been on staff. The women we work to elect are the frontline defenders of access to abortion here in Arizona. When the leak of the Dobbs decision came out and it was publicly known that Roe vs Wade was likely to be overturned, Arizona List women were the first to come up with solutions at the city, county, and legislative level. The work that we have been doing since 2004 has been to prepare us for the position we are in now. We have worked to build leaders who value reproductive rights and center assess to abortion care in the campaigns and in their elected service.

In the almost two years since the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v Wade, Arizona has been able to stave off some of the worst effects because of Arizona List women in elected office and leadership roles. From Tucson Mayor Regina Romero who directed that no city resources would be used to enforce any abortion bans, Pima County Attorney Laura Conover who filed the injection against the 1864 total ban, Attorney General Kris Mayes who has worked tirelessly to find legal protections for access to reproductive healthcare, Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton who introduced the repeal of the 1964 abortion ban in the House and Senator Anna Hernandez who carried it in the Senate; Arizona List women are the ones showing up and fighting for reproductive rights every day.

~ Claire Knipe

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