Senator Nancy Barto often brags that Arizona is the #1 “Pro-Life” state in the country. That’s because, for years, Arizona Republican politicians have followed the extreme anti-abortion agenda laid out by Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy. Barto often sponsors these repressive reproductive rights bills, like the recent 15 week abortion ban.
If the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) strikes down the landmark abortion rights case, Roe v Wade, in the coming weeks, Arizona’s “Pro-Life” label will come back to haunt many residents as they find their right to body autonomy removed by state law.
Arizona Republicans passed the contentious 15 week abortion ban in 2022, but there are many abortion-related laws on the books. Some territorial era statutes criminalize doctors and patients for abortion. Controlling reproductive rights and sexuality are popular topics for Republican legislation. Rep. Walt Blackman is running for Congress — against Democrat Congressman Tom O’Halleran — on a strong anti-abortion platform. Blackman has made at least three campaign-style anti-abortion speeches on the Floor of the House this year.
Blackman is not alone. If Roe goes down, the women of Arizona should brace themselves for an onslaught of more repressive laws from the Republicans, as long as they control the government. Arizona currently has 61 statutes on the books that mention “abortion,” but ZERO statutes that limit the reproductive rights of men. That is obviously state-based discrimination against women. Arizona needs a statewide Equal Rights Amendment.
Abortion care is NOT a states’ rights issue. A person’s reproductive rights should not change when they cross state lines. The government has no right to meddle in a person’s medical, financial and family planning decisions. Will people move out of repressive states like Arizona, Texas, Mississippi and Florida — or just not move to them? Arizona’s marketing touts sunshine and low taxes, but soon we also will have forced pregnancy and no water.
The US Senate should dump the filibuster and protect reproductive rights (and voting rights). The filibuster is a roadblock to progress. It’s time for systemic change to save our country.