Supreme Court Ruling Adds Fuel to Election Fire

( – Abortion has been a contentious topic for decades, but never more so than after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade in 2022. That ruling returned the rights to states to set laws and restrictions.

While many initially thought the ire afterward would die down, that hasn’t proven to be the case. In fact, it’s looking like it’s going to be a major factor in the general elections later this year. Now, Arizona’s Supreme Court has added even more fuel to the fire.

Arizona Supreme Court Upholds 160-Year-Old Law

On Tuesday, April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court issued its decision in the Planned Parenthood v. Mayes case. In doing so, it reversed protections in the state, effectively banning the procedure with one exception — in the event that the woman’s life is in danger. Governor Doug Ducey (R) instated a 15-week ban in 2022, which the Court effectively ruled moot.

Instead, a Civil War-era ban is now in place, Title 13 Criminal Code § 13-3603, and it makes abortion a felony crime. If someone performs the abortion or otherwise aids a woman in obtaining the procedure, they face two to five years in jail. In its ruling, the AZ Supreme Court put physicians “on notice” and said they would face “additional criminal and regulatory sanctions” if they performed the procedure “after fifteen weeks’ gestation.”

Republicans Distance Themselves, Democrats Try to Capitalize

In the wake of the decision, Arizona Republicans denounced the decision. Former President Donald Trump even expressed his opinion that the state went too far. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said that he hoped the state’s legislature “will revisit” the issue.

Yet, despite trying to distance themselves, the state’s GOP lawmakers thwarted any attempts to repeal the decision as Democrats sought to introduce legislation to that effect. They removed the bill from the agenda and called for a recess, effectively evacuating the floor until Wednesday, April 17. That led to calls of “Shame!” and “Save women’s lives!” from Democrats.

Democratic state Senator Anna Hernandez called into question whether the Republicans were serious about the issue or posturing for political reasons. On the other side, GOP state Representative Teresa Martinez shamed the Left for trying to force a vote just one day after the ruling.

Could Democrats Benefit?

The court’s decision could also heavily influence the elections come November. Constituents made their displeasure — and panic — known with the flood of calls to their congressional reps. According to FiveThirtyEight, 51% of registered voters consider the issue a major factor in determining who they will vote for.

Copyright 2024,