Arizona Abortion Bombshell May Be Trouble for GOP

GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake denounces ruling, which could drive Democrats to the polls
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2024 1:00 AM CDT
Arizona Abortion Bombshell May Be Trouble for GOP
Republican Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Arizona is suddenly poised to enact one of the toughest abortion laws in the country, thanks to Tuesday's court ruling. And just as suddenly, abortion has become a monumental issue in a presidential battleground state that just happens to have a Senate contest this year as well, reports the Hill. Coverage:

  • Kari Lake: The conservative GOP Senate candidate came out against the court ruling, calling it "out of step with Arizonans," per the New York Times. "I am calling on [Democratic Gov.] Katie Hobbs and the state Legislature to come up with an immediate commonsense solution," Lake said. Axios, noting that Lake previously praised the law in question, says her about-face "makes clear how painful of an issue abortion has become for Republicans—and her attempt to make herself more palatable to moderates and independents as she runs for Senate."

  • Her opponent: Lake's Democratic opponent, Rep. Ruben Gallego, wasted no time in linking her to the measure. "Yet again, extremist politicians like Kari Lake are forcing themselves into doctors' offices and ripping away the right for women to make their own healthcare decisions," he said in a statement. Bigger picture, the issue illustrates how Arizona "is likely to be front and center in a national push by Democrats to transform the 2024 race into another referendum on abortion rights," per the Times.
  • Biden/Trump: President Biden also sought to take advantage of the ruling, which he called "a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women's freedom." VP Kamala Harris, meanwhile, is heading to the state this week. The ruling came a day after former President Trump, who has boasted on the campaign trail of his role in getting Roe v. Wade overturned, disappointed advocates of a national ban by saying abortion should be an issue for individual states to decide. A spokesperson reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday in response to the ruling.
  • One view: The ruling has "set off a political earthquake" in the state, writes Laurie Roberts in the Arizona Republic. She notes that a ballot measure to protect abortion rights is expected to be on the November ballot, and Tuesday's ruling is expected to drive Democratic voters to the polls. "That movement you feel under your feet? That's one of America's key battleground states swinging blue," writes Roberts.
(More abortion stories.)

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