The Standoff Over Arizona’s 1864 Abortion Ban


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Speaker Ben Toma stood firm as he walked off the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives after casting the deciding vote to uphold the state’s 1864 abortion ban. Despite pressure from top Republicans like former President Donald J. Trump, Toma remained resolute in his belief that the ban was founded on moral principles transcending politics.

Conservative Christian Influence on Abortion Laws

The commitment to Arizona’s near-total abortion ban highlights the significant influence of conservative Christian groups in shaping abortion legislation across the United States. Despite being a minority viewpoint, these groups hold sway in state legislatures, advocating for anti-abortion laws based on their interpretation of religious beliefs.

Challenges and Backlash Against Abortion Rights

In the face of a recent State Supreme Court decision reinstating the 1864 ban and overturning a constitutional right to abortion, there has been a growing popular backlash. Groups like Students for Life of America have been actively campaigning against measures to expand abortion rights, engaging in door-to-door outreach and advocacy to sway public opinion.

Speaker Ben Toma: “The whole idea that we are equal in the sight of God, our maker, that we have unalienable rights, all that, that is all fundamentally a Christian worldview.”

Credit: Cassidy Araiza for The New York Times

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