Friday, May 17, 2024

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Arizona’s Abortion Ban: A Chilling Preview of America Under Trump

Kari Lake's Abortion Flip-Flop Exposes Republicans' Cynical Attempts to Mask Their Extremist Agenda.

Donald Trump/Kari Lake
Photo: Gage Skidmore

In a devastating blow to reproductive rights and women’s health, the Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a draconian 1864 law that effectively bans all abortion in the state. This archaic and extreme measure, which was enacted before Arizona even achieved statehood, is a chilling reminder of the relentless assault on reproductive freedom being waged by the Republican Party across the country.

The court’s 4-2 ruling, which has been temporarily stayed to allow for further legal arguments, sends a clear message that the hard-won protections of Roe v. Wade are now a thing of the past. Thanks to the Trump orchestrated Dobbs decision, which overturned the federal constitutional right to abortion, state-level Republicans have seized the opportunity to impose their extreme ideological agenda on women and families. 

Arizona’s 1864 law is among the most restrictive in the nation, banning abortion from the moment of conception, with only a narrow exception to save the life of the mother. This draconian measure makes no allowances for cases of rape or incest, effectively forcing women to carry pregnancies resulting from the most traumatic of circumstances. The potential consequences are dire, as women in Arizona will now have to travel hundreds of miles to neighboring states like California, New Mexico, or Colorado to access a fundamental healthcare service.

This ruling is not only a profound violation of bodily autonomy, but it also puts women’s lives at risk. Forcing women to carry pregnancies to term, even in cases where their health is jeopardized, is unconscionable and betrays the most basic principles of human dignity and compassion. Even though the law allows for abortion to save the life of the mother, the reality is that doctors won’t feel safe to perform an abortion until a woman is at death’s door, which increases the risk of death. 

As Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes rightly stated, this decision “will go down in history as a stain on our state.” Mayes, a Democrat, has vowed that under her watch, “no woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this draconian law.” This courageous stance stands in stark contrast to the cowardly and opportunistic behavior of Republican leaders in Arizona and around the country.

Kari Lake’s Abortion Flip-Flop

The most glaring example of this is Kari Lake, the Republican candidate running for Arizona’s Senate seat, who has flip-flopped shamelessly on the issue of abortion. Lake, who previously praised the 1864 law as a great law, now feigns opposition to the court’s ruling, calling on the state legislature to come up with a “common sense solution.”

This transparent attempt to recast herself as a moderate on abortion is nothing more than a cynical political ploy, designed to obscure her true extremist views. Lake’s past support for the 1864 law, as well as her calls for a six-week abortion ban and her opposition to exceptions for rape and incest, make it obvious that she is no friend to women’s reproductive rights.

That Lake is now trying to distance herself from her own record is a testament to the growing political toxicity of the Republican Party’s extremist stance on abortion. Voters, especially women and young people, have made it clear that they won’t tolerate the erasure of their fundamental freedoms.

This sentiment was echoed by Ruben Gallego, the Democratic candidate for the US Senate in Arizona, who condemned the court’s ruling as “devastating” and vowed to “fight this together” with the people of Arizona. Gallego’s unwavering commitment to abortion rights stands in stark contrast to the opportunistic maneuvering of his Republican counterpart.

President Biden has already weighed in, denouncing the court’s decision as “cruel” and warning that it could be a harbinger of a nationwide ban on abortion should Republicans and Trump regain power. Vice President Harris will visit Arizona this week to underscore the administration’s commitment to protecting reproductive rights.

Trump & The Supreme Court

This is a fight that transcends state lines, as the Republican Party’s crusade against abortion rights is a coordinated national effort. And Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric about leaving it up to the states is mere empty posturing that shouldn’t be taken at face value. 

The truth is that Trump’s Supreme Court appointments, which included the three justices who formed the majority in the Dobbs decision, are the reason why abortion is no longer a federally protected right. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the court has opened the floodgates for a patchwork of restrictive laws that has robbed millions of women of their bodily autonomy. And Trump is completely responsible for that. 

abortion
Source: New York Times

The Republican Party’s cynical attempts to rebrand themselves as moderates on this issue are nothing more than a desperate ploy to cling to power. Their true agenda, as evidenced by the Arizona court’s ruling and Trump’s extremist anti-abortion Supreme Court appointments, is to impose a nationwide ban on abortion, regardless of the will of the people.

Donald Trump and Kari Lake’s recent attempts to paint themselves as moderate on abortion should fool no one. Trump’s empty rhetoric cannot obscure the immense damage he has already done, and the fact that he has openly bragged about being responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade. Similarly, Kari Lake’s professed dismay over Arizona’s reinstatement of a near-total abortion ban rings hollow, given her previous ringing endorsement of the draconian law as “a great law that’s already on the books.”

Attempts by these Republican figures to soften their stances are clearly calculated to regain mainstream appeal after the nationwide backlash over the Dobbs ruling. However, their prior actions and statements make it obvious that their newfound “moderation” lacks credibility.

His supposed evolution on the issue is nothing more than a cynical ploy for votes. If Trump returns to power, there is no doubt he will pursue and achieve the long desired goal of the Republican Party—the implementation of a nationwide abortion ban that would rob millions more women of their fundamental freedoms. The American people cannot be misled by his lies and need to understand that Trump can and will ban abortion nationwide if we give him the power to do so.