PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s Republican governor signed a collection of payments Wednesday concentrating on abortion and transgender rights, becoming a member of a rising record of GOP-led states pursuing a conservative social agenda.
The measures signed by Gov. Doug Ducey will outlaw abortion after 15 weeks if the U.S. Supreme Court docket permits it, prohibit gender affirmation surgical procedure for minors and ban transgender women from taking part in on women and girls’s sports activities groups.
Payments concentrating on abortion and transgender rights have been in style with the conservative base in states the place Republicans dominate however could possibly be politically dangerous in a battleground state the place Democrats have made important inroads.
Ducey also signed the first of what’s anticipated to be a number of election legal guidelines despatched to him by majority Republican lawmakers within the identify of election safety.
He accepted a invoice requiring all voters to show their citizenship, drawing fierce opposition from voting rights advocates who say it dangers canceling the voter registrations for some 200,000 long-time voters. The invoice additionally requires anybody newly registering to vote to supply proof of their deal with.
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The Arizona abortion laws mirrors a Mississippi legislation now being thought of by the nation’s excessive court docket. The invoice explicitly says it doesn’t overrule a state legislation in place for greater than 100 years that may ban abortion outright if the Supreme Court docket overrules Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that enshrined the suitable to abortion in legislation.
“In Arizona, we all know there’s immeasurable worth in each life – together with preborn life,” Ducey mentioned in a signing letter. “I consider it’s every state’s duty to guard them.”
Ducey is an abortion opponent who has signed every bit of anti-abortion laws that has reached his desk since he took workplace in 2015. He mentioned late final yr that he hoped the Supreme Court docket overturns the Roe resolution.
Florida lawmakers handed an analogous 15-week abortion ban early this month that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is predicted to signal.
Ducey’s signing letter was despatched to Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, an abortion rights supporter who’s searching for her occasion’s nomination in November’s election to interchange Ducey, who’s term-limited.
“At the moment marks an enormous step backward within the struggle for equality for ladies throughout Arizona and throughout the nation,” Hobbs mentioned in an announcement. “With Governor Ducey’s signature, our elected leaders have chosen to aspect with the extremists of their occasion and switch their backs on the overwhelming majority of Arizonans who help the constitutional proper to decide on.”
NARAL Professional-Alternative America, an abortion rights group, mentioned politicians pushing abortion bans are banking on the Supreme Court docket upholding the Mississippi legislation and overturning Roe.
“If that occurs, it would open the floodgates to a barrage of harmful laws that provides politicians extra energy and management over our lives,” Caroline Mello Roberson, the group’s regional director, mentioned in an announcement.
Different states are contemplating related bans or passing variations of a ban enacted in Texas final yr that bans abortions after about six weeks of being pregnant that the Supreme Court docket has refused to dam.
In the meantime, Arizona joins a dozen different states with limits on sports activities participation for trans women and turns into the third state to attempt to restrict well being care choices for transgender teenagers. Oklahoma’s governor signed a sports ban on Wednesday.
Till two years in the past, no state had handed a legislation regulating gender-designated youth sports activities. However the situation has grow to be entrance and heart in Republican-led statehouses since Idaho lawmakers handed the nation’s first sports activities participation legislation in 2020. That legislation is now blocked in court docket, together with one other in West Virginia.
Republicans have mentioned blocking transgender athletes from women sports activities groups would shield the integrity of ladies’s sports activities, claiming that trans athletes would have a bonus. Ducey echoed that sentiment in his signing assertion, saying the invoice ensures women and girl can compete “on a degree taking part in subject.”
Many level to the transgender collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas, who gained a person title on the NCAA Ladies’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championship final week.
However there are few trans athletes in Arizona colleges. Since 2017, about 16 trans athletes have requested for waivers to play on groups that align with their gender identities out of about 170,000 highschool athletes within the state and never all have been granted, in accordance with the Arizona Interscholastic Affiliation.
Skyler Morrison, a 13-year-old transgender lady who lives in Phoenix, testified towards the laws and known as for Ducey to veto it, tweeted that she was “actually disgusted and terrified for all of my trans household right here.”
Critics mentioned the laws dehumanizes trans youth to handle a problem that hasn’t been an issue. They mentioned choices about well being care needs to be left to trans kids, their dad and mom and their well being care suppliers.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Nationwide Middle for Lesbian Rights vowed to sue to dam the legislation banning gender-affirming surgical procedure for these beneath age 18.
“We’re speaking about legislating bullying towards kids who’re already struggling simply to get by,” Democratic Rep. Kelli Butler mentioned in the course of the Home debate on the sports activities invoice final week.
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