Repeal Relief – Sarah Liguori

On Thursday, there was a moment of emotional celebration as Governor Hobbs signed the repeal of the territorial abortion ban. Against the odds, and rules created against us, Democratic leadership in the House and Senate prevailed in bringing this legislation, which has been ignored by Republicans for the past six years, to the governor’s desk. With upward of 80% of bills introduced by Democrats never getting the chance to be heard, the feeling was especially sweet for Representative Stahl Hamilton as this was her first bill signed into law.

Although this repeal brings relief, we must acknowledge that providers and patients are still subject to the near total abortion ban until the bill becomes law 90 days after the session ends. When will the session end? Good question for a crystal ball. Speaker Toma has adjourned the House until May 15, and there are rumors that the Republican majority would like to keep us in session through the fall so the ban remains in place for as long as possible. This means dread will continue to loom over pregnancies and providers will not be able to provide full patient care.

Take for example, the 19-year-old who came to the hospital this week with pregnancy complications that included significant bleeding. She was in disbelief as the physician team told her there was nothing they could do for her until she came back with a spiked fever or symptoms of sepsis. Or the provider that closed their practice to move out of state because the whiplash of varying abortion bans created too much uncertainty. There will be many more of these examples – real lives, real women, real families, real businesses, all suffering under the control of an extremist minority.

I don’t use the word extremism lightly when it comes to the discussion surrounding abortion.  What I heard on the Senate floor during the repeal debate showed a very clear lack of understanding of what abortion care is, and how religious and extremist ideology is obscuring medical science. (Listen here starting at the 1-hour 37-minute mark, and brace yourself). I left the Chamber after hearing enough and went out to knock on doors and talk to real voters about this situation. I was glad to see in the very first home I visited that a local news station was streaming the Senate debate so that Arizonans could hear how the “best abortion ban in the country” was being exulted by far-right elected officials.

As a mom of two young children, I look back to my understanding of pregnancy and abortion. The first thing I quickly realized when my husband and I decided to try to have a child is that there is no guarantee over any part of the pregnancy journey. The creation of life is indeed a scientific miracle, and you have no certainty about that journey. Will you become pregnant in one month? Three months? Ever? Will you have a complication-free pregnancy? Or might you experience a miscarriage, as 1 in 4 pregnancies do. A pregnant person has no control over how hard or easy any part of a pregnancy will be and no government should attempt to exert that control either.

Please sign or support the Arizona for Abortion Access Initiative so that we can ensure healthcare during pregnancy can be protected in our Constitution.

With a recess this week I will next be sharing insights on the budget and the updated financial forecast of our state.

With kindness,


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