The law was first enacted among a set of laws known as the “Howell Code” adopted by the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1864. Legislative researchers said it remained in the penal code in 1901 and was readopted in subsequent rewrites, including in the 1970s.
Republicans have spoken well of the law. Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, R-Ariz., called the historic legislation “a great law that’s already on the books.”
Democrats are less respectful of their ancestral laws. Katie Hobbs and Kris Mayes, the Democratic nominees for governor and attorney general, implored women not to sit on the sidelines this year, saying the ruling sets them back more than a century.
Hobbs said, “As Arizona’s governor I will do everything in my power and use every tool at my disposal to restore abortion rights in Arizona.”
The ruling fires up the passions of leftists. The ‘right’ to kill one’s own baby is particularly salient among suburban women, who play a decisive role in close elections in Arizona.
Accordingly, Democrats have poured tens of millions of dollars into television advertising focused on infanticide.
If elected, Mayes said, she would not enforce the abortion law and would direct county prosecutors to do the same.
Hobbs said she’d push lawmakers on her first day in office to repeal the abortion ban, a long shot for a Legislature that is widely expected to be controlled by Republicans. Failing that, she said she’d support a ballot measure giving the voters the chance to decide in the 2024 election.
Hobbs also said she’d veto any legislation that further protects life.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press