“Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.”

— American writer George Saunders

Two years ago, Republicans across America rejoiced when the U.S. Supreme Court blew out the windows with Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

That landmark decision overruled both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and sent the question of legalized abortion careening to the states.

What many Republicans failed to understand then was that the contest over legal abortion was over.

The Democrats had won.

Fifty years of Roe v. Wade had set in cement American attitudes on abortion. Roe made abortion safe and legal and widely available.

And there would be hell to pay for turning back the clock.

Last week when the Arizona Supreme Court did its job and ruled the state Legislature had “never affirmatively created a right to, or independently authorized, elective abortion,” it handed Republicans the anchor to drown themselves.

Stick with Arizona’s 1864 abortion law — a Civil War-era relic that would imprison doctors or others who assist abortion — and you provide Democrats a vivid argument that Republicans are mired in the horse-and-buggy past.

In the panic that ensued, the conservative party leadership in America made its Great Arizona Pivot.

It lifted the veil from its eyes and finally recognized that like the liberal party in this country, it is becoming pro-choice.

That pains me as someone who believes that life in the womb does not just have a beating heart and distinct DNA, but has dignity that should be protected.

But my side is losing that argument, and in a free society, we ultimately recognize the popular will or we don’t have a free society.

What a combustive reaction the Arizona Supreme Coourt triggered last week.

Almost immediately, the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, told a press scrum in Atlanta that, “Yeah, they did” — yeah, the conservative Arizona Supreme Court had gone too far.

“And that will be straightened out,” said Trump, who then implored Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and the Republican Legislature “to bring it back to reason.”

Kari Lake, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona who not so long ago supported the 1864 near-total ban, said, “I oppose today’s ruling, and I am calling on Katie Hobbs and the State Legislature to come up with an immediate common-sense solution that Arizonans can support.”

Then Lake lobbied conservatives in the Arizona Legislature to repeal it.

In the Republican caucus, lawmakers were already looking for ways to escape 1864 and vowed that the law would soon go.

The question now is will Democrats help them?

Democrats in this state no doubt remember that Donald Trump had earlier this year sunk a bipartisan border deal so he could keep border chaos alive and hobble Joe Biden in the fall election.

Will Arizona Democrats repay the favor on abortion, an issue that is destructive to Republican ambitions? I’ll be watching intently.

The Republican Party is only now honestly confronting what it has long signaled — that it by and large supports legalized abortion.

Long before the Arizona Supreme Court ruled, both major schools in the conservative party had begun to embrace the 15-week abortion law.

In the new and dominant MAGA wing of the party, Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had both touted the law. And in the waning establishment wing, former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had signed it into law in 2022 in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold Mississippi’s similar law.

Why Arizona's 1864 ban:It's going anywhere soon

When the Arizona court upheld 1864, Ducey, like Trump, said it had gone too far and that he would prefer the 15-week law, which is more in line with public sentiment.

For Republicans who still need smelling salts, the 15-week law permits abortion through the first trimester (13 weeks of gestation) and then some. Understand that 93% of abortions are performed in the first trimester.

The question of legalization is ending.

Yes, a number of mostly sunbelt states (14) controlled by Republicans have put in place near or total abortion bans, but those Republican leaders are planting the seeds of discord.

In Texas, which banned abortion, more than half the population tells pollsters they support abortion rights. A plurality of Texans is pro-choice (39%) over pro-life (37%), according to the 2023 Three State Report by a group of Western universities.

Last week Arizona pointed to the Republican future, and it is one in which choice will either take root, or Americans will eventually elect Democrats to ensure it takes root.

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic. Email him at phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.

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Republicans must face it: They are a pro-choice party

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16.04.2024

“Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.”

— American writer George Saunders

Two years ago, Republicans across America rejoiced when the U.S. Supreme Court blew out the windows with Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

That landmark decision overruled both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and sent the question of legalized abortion careening to the states.

What many Republicans failed to understand then was that the contest over legal abortion was over.

The Democrats had won.

Fifty years of Roe v. Wade had set in cement American attitudes on abortion. Roe made abortion safe and legal and widely available.

And there would be hell to pay for turning back the clock.

Last week when the Arizona Supreme Court did its job and ruled the state Legislature had “never affirmatively created a right to, or independently authorized, elective abortion,” it handed Republicans the anchor to drown themselves.

Stick with Arizona’s 1864 abortion law — a Civil War-era relic that would imprison doctors or others who assist abortion — and you provide Democrats a vivid argument that Republicans are mired in the horse-and-buggy past.

In the panic........

© Arizona Republic


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