Arizona Reacts to End of Abortion Rights (video)

Planned Parenthood & Dems Press Conference

Planned Parenthood of Arizona (PP) and the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) held a joint press conference at the Arizona Capitol on June 24, 2022, the day the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, the landmark abortion rights case from 1973.

At the press conference, PP President and CEO Brittany Fonteno said that Planned Parenthood stopped all abortion care services and canceled appointments in Arizona that day, due to multiple conflicting state laws on the books.

In early evening on June 24, abortion rights supporters nationwide held pro-choice marches. Marchers in Phoenix started gathering on the lawn of the Arizona Capitol after 6 p.m. After the press conference footage, this video includes footage from pro-abortion rally, the noisy protest, and the teargassing protesters by Department of Public Safety officers, later that evening. (I included time stamps below to make it easier to slide in and watch selected parts.)

Arizona Women not only lost the right to abortion on June 24, 2022, they lost the right to freedom or speech and the right to protest.

Pro-choice supporters in Phoenix
Pro-choice supporters gathered on the lawn of the Arizona State Capitol before the march around downtown Phoenix.

Video Time Stamps

Press Conference Speakers

Senator Raquel Teran, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party 0:00

Senator Victoria Steele 7:24

Rep. Jennifer Jermaine 9:20

Rev. Dr. Cathy Cardy Patterson 12:00

Brittany Fonteno, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and Q&A session with reporters 16:47

Closing remarks from Rev. Dr. Cathy Cardy Patterson 25:10

Bans Off Our Bodies Rally and March protesters gathered at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol 25:59

Loud chanting echoed between the buildings after dark 16:16

Without warning, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Department of Public Safety officers fired teargas into the crowd of unarmed pro-choice protesters, primarily young women and men in shorts 26:45

What IS the Law in Arizona Regarding Abortion?

Fonteno was right about conflicting and confusing state laws that make Arizona “one of the most hostile states toward abortion care services.” According to a June 30 syndicated article by Howard Fischer, even some of Arizona’s top Republican lawmakers disagree regarding which anti-abortion laws prevail, now that Roe is gone.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is running for US Senate against Senator Mark Kelly, says Arizona’s 1901 law criminalizing abortion supersedes the 2021 law making it illegal to abort a fetus due to genetic abnormalities; the 2022 law creating 15 week abortion ban; and a 1970s era injunction against the 1901 law. Although SB1164, the 15 week abortion ban, is scheduled to go into effect 90 days, Brnovich says the harsher 1901 abortion law will stand and suggests women could get jail time. Governor Doug Ducey claims that the 15 week ban will supersede the other laws.

Abortion rights battle lines are being drawn in many political races, with early voting in the Arizona primary election happening now. LOTS of people are running for office, and many races will be decided in the primary.

The two Democratic women running for Arizona Attorney General and Maricopa County Attorney — Kris Mayes and Julie Gunnigle — blasted Brnovich for his 1901 decision and Rachel Mitchell, current appointed Interim Maricopa County Attorney, for vowing to follow Brno’s lead. (Details in this blog post by David Gordon at Blog for Arizona.) The winners of these two high-powered races will be a key player in the reproductive rights battle in Arizona as it progresses. Many candidates for Congress, Governor and the Legislature are making reproductive rights — of the elimination thereof — a key part of their platforms.

What is the legal justification of a SCOTUS ruling that will: 1) cause premature death among pregnant people; 2) create an inequitable system of forced childbirth; 3) cause unnecessary emotional and financial hardship; 4) push women’s rights backward more than 100 years based on a mystical belief regarding the beginning of life; 5) create an inequitable system in which a woman’s right to body autonomy, financial autonomy and basic healthcare changes at the state line; and 6) NOT stop abortions from happening?

Abortion is healthcare.

Stay tuned for more developments. I believe there will be dozens of unintended consequences from this dramatic overreach by the Supreme Court into our private lives.