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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Democrats

“Get the facts straight”—Alston responds to misinformation pushed by Republicans to rewrite history

Arizona State Senate 

1700 W. Washington St. 

Phoenix, AZ 85007 

  

Press Release


PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Caucus Chair, Lela Alston, celebrates the final passage of the 1864 total ban on abortion and released the following statement about the ongoing Republican misinformation campaign:


“As the longest currently serving member of the legislature, I believe we need to get the facts straight. By 1977, Roe v. Wade had been long decided and Arizona’s law had been enjoined and unenforceable. Almost 50 years later, President Trump made it his mission to pack the Supreme Court with Justices that would ignore state’s decision, overturn Roe and throw out a constitutional right that generations of women have depended on since 1973.  

 

The bill that recodified the entire criminal code was over a hundred pages long and included 188 separate sections. Its objective was to refine the criminal code by restructuring and renumbering Title 13. What is important here is that the language of the territorial ban was written in 1864. It was not rewritten in 1977 when it was recodified. The original 1977 summary of the bill stated that the code 'leaves in present form existing laws in areas not covered by the new statutes.'  

 

The 1864 language criminalizing abortion is the language that was reinstated by the Court, and it is the language we repealed today–language written at a time when women could not vote, own property in their own name, hold elected office, enter into a contract and were not welcomed into professional occupations. Republicans are peddling a false narrative that the law passed in 1977 was some sort of a milestone in Arizona history. The milestone in Arizona history was enacted in 1864 and the false narrative being pushed today is because they are aware that their stance on abortion is not supported by voters and more importantly, that subjecting women and doctors to 1864 standards is indefensible. 

 

My record of service has been clearly pro-women's rights, pro-choice and pro-healthcare. My record is clear, and I will not be questioned by members of this body whose integrity is so lacking that they have been indicted for felony, fraud and forgery.” 

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