The US state of Arizona just effectively banned abortion

The attack on abortion rights continues in the United States, with Arizona’s new law becoming one of the most extreme yet

April 09, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch
Protesters march in Tampa, Florida, for abortion rights shortly after Roe v. Wade is overturned

On Tuesday, April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a near-total abortion ban, which provides exceptions only when saving the mother’s life. 

The state’s Supreme Court ruled to uphold a 123-year-old penal code provision which bans all abortions, and carries a sentence of two to five years for abortion providers. This law originates from 1864, decades before Arizona became a state. 

There is a 14-day stay on the law before it comes into effect.  

This is the latest example of the ongoing battle against women’s reproductive rights in the United States, which has been heightened for the past two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned by a right-wing Supreme Court. Since then, various states which are controlled by more right-wing politicians have attempted to ban abortion within the state. However, abortion rights remain popular among the people of the United States, and when put to referendum, are able to remain in place, even in right-wing controlled states. This was the case in the state of Kansas, where even though right forces deployed several tactics to confuse and misinform voters on the recent state referendum on abortion rights, over 50% of voters in the US state of Kansas voted “no” on a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to remove abortion as a protected right.

Peoples Dispatch had previously spoken to Karina Garcia, an abortion rights activist, now running for Vice President of the United States as a socialist. In an interview, Garcia pointed out that it is not just the right-wing’s fault that women’s rights, and all social rights, are under attack. The fault also lies with Biden and the Democratic Party for acting as sitting ducks. “And it’s a complete distraction to just say, oh, we have to focus on getting the Democrats elected, let’s all vote [in order to restore abortion rights],” she said. “It’s a really patronizing way of thinking and is just downright disrespectful to say that all the people that don’t vote just don’t care or are apathetic or are somehow to blame for this rotten system of these capitalist politicians who use all of our resources and then have the nerve to blame the people themselves for the problems that they’ve created.”

Last week, abortion rights group Arizona for Abortion Access announced that it had gathered enough signatures to implement a November 2024 ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. Socialist candidates Claudia De La Cruz, running for President, and Karina Garcia, running as VP, have urged Arizonans to vote yes on this measure. 

“We are disgusted at the ruling in Arizona eviscerating the last semblance of abortion rights in the state, made at the whims of elite judges,” they wrote in a recent statement.

“We call on all Arizonans to vote for the constitutional amendment to restore the right to choose, and keep up the fight in the streets to defeat the bigots who want to turn back the clock.”