Doug Ducey is the Republican governor of Arizona, a state which currently has two Democratic Senators and which President Joe Biden narrowly won in 2020. Arizona is what political analysts would call a “purple” state. And on Wednesday, Ducey signed into law two anti-trans bills, a voting restriction, and a 15-week abortion ban.
Ducey is proving once again that voter suppression goes hand-in-hand with enacting unpopular legislation, and he’s also proving that abortion bans aren’t limited to red states: Lawmakers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have introduced bans during this legislative session, and all three Republican candidates for Michigan Attorney General think that Roe v. Wade wrongly decided.
Even if the state where you live isn’t considering an abortion ban, it might border one that does. As a result, you or someone you love may find it harder to get an appointment, because people are coming to your state for care they should be able to get at home. States including Oregon, Illinois, and California are preparing for the influx of patients that’s already happening and is going to get worse.
And while SB 1164 may not sound as shocking as a six-week ban copying the infamous Texas law—and Arizona lawmakers introduced one of those, too—it’s still a ban on abortion a full two months before the precedents in both Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (24 weeks versus 15 weeks). The Supreme Court is actively considering whether to uphold an identical 15-week ban from Mississippi in a blockbuster case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The Arizona bill, which doesn’t take effect until 90 days after the legislative session ends on July 22, 2022, cuts off abortion access after the first trimester, meaning it will impact low-income people who need time to gather money and organize logistics like childcare, and people who get terrible health news later in pregnancy.
“Abortion bans have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, immigrants, disabled and rural Arizonans,” Parris Wallace, co-director of Black Political Cultivation AZ, said in a statement. “These same groups are targeted by anti-voter legislation that will make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot. Abortion bans and transphobic bills–these efforts to stoke fear and divide us are connected to efforts to make it harder to vote. A handful of legislators are advancing a dangerous, self-serving agenda and with his signature, Governor Ducey has just endorsed it.”
If the high court upholds the Mississippi abortion law, as it’s expected to do by the end of June, that means 15-week bans passed in Louisiana and, now, Arizona, could go into effect. Similar bills in Florida and Kentucky are awaiting their governors’ signatures. Abortion bans don’t stop abortions, but as these and the Texas-style bans spread across the country, more people will be traveling, abortion funds will be even more stretched, and it could get harder for people in purple and even blue states to get essential care. Remember that the next time you brush off news about an abortion bill in the South or Midwest.