For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 11, 2021
Arizona becomes the sixth state to introduce legislation using Texas’ abortion ban as a blueprint
Phoenix — On Thursday, anti-choice state lawmakers in Arizona introduced a bill, HB 2483, modeled after Texas’ unprecedented vigilante-enforced ban on abortion. Since Texas’ SB 8 went into effect on September 1, 2021, anti-choice lawmakers in five other states—Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, and Florida—have also introduced copycat legislation. Lawmakers in nine other states—Oklahoma, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia—have said they intend to export Texas’ draconian ban on abortion to their states.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Southwest Regional Director Caroline Mello Roberson released the following statement:
“HB 2483 is a ban on abortion, complete with a vigilante-enforcement scheme straight out of Texas’ playbook and out of line with the 8 in 10 Arizonans who support the legal right to abortion. It is clear that Arizona Republicans, who hold just a one-vote majority in the legislature, are not listening to the majority of Arizonans who support reproductive freedom. Rather, they are taking cues from anti-choice extremists. NARAL Pro-Choice America and our more than 52,000 members in Arizona will be working until Election Day and beyond to ensure anyone who supports this draconian bill is held accountable at the ballot box.
These extremist bills underscore the urgent need for national action. The U.S. Senate must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) by any means necessary and protect the right to abortion throughout the United States. Every moment without legislative action to safeguard our freedoms puts our families and lives at risk.”
The recent barrage of attacks on abortion access using Texas’ vigilante-enforcement scheme comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block SB 8 for the second time. Texas’ SB 8 has been in effect for more than four months. The state’s ban on abortion has forced Texans to travel great distances to other states for abortion care or be blocked from accessing care entirely. Attacks on abortion access, like Texas’ SB 8 and Arizona’s HB 2483, disproportionately harm women; Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; LGBTQ+ people; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
Later this year, the Supreme Court will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case regarding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and could end the constitutional right to abortion. If the Mississippi law is upheld in this case, it will open the flood gates for anti-choice lawmakers in states to take immediate action to ban abortion. Arizona currently has an unenforced pre-Roe ban on abortion that could be enforced if Roe falls.
The Supreme Court’s decision to allow SB 8 to go into effect and the current threat to Roe, underscore the urgent need to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). WHPA would protect the right to abortion throughout the United States by creating a right for healthcare providers to provide abortion care and a corresponding right for people to receive that care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and block access.
Even as Roe stands—for now—the evisceration of abortion access is well underway in states across the country. More than 100 restrictions on abortion access were enacted in 2021, making it the worst year for abortion rights on the state level since Roe was decided. This includes Arizona’s SB 1457, a sweeping bill severely restricting access to abortion care.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.