Paul Bender discusses 2024 abortion ballot measure

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ASU Law Professor Paul Bender joined Arizona Horizon to discuss a ballot measure that would codify abortion rights in Arizona’s constitution. Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, many Arizonans have been fighting to protect abortion rights.

“The amendment is a lot cleaner. It’s an amendment to the constitution which essentially revives Roe V. Wade in Arizona. It restores the test that a woman has the right to an abortion until fetal viability.” Bender said.

A coalition of Arizona organizations filed the Arizona Abortion Access Act, which would place a proposed constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights in Arizona’s 2024 ballot. The state supreme court will also determine which abortion law should reign in Arizona, either a total ban or a ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

“We all have two sets of constitutional rights, one under the U.S. Constitution and another one under our state constitution whatever state you have to live in. The idea of the state having a right that’s not in the federal constitution, that is not unusual at all. Lots of states have rights that aren’t in the constitution,” Bender said.

Bender says that the state has the right to regulate the right of a woman to get an abortion but it cannot be taken it away. He says the only regulation that can be used is the right to support the health of the woman getting an abortion.

“I think the constitutional right is pretty strong, if this passes essentially what will happen is that Arizona will be back the way it was before Roe V. Wade was overruled. Now right now in Arizona, we don’t know what the law is, that’s currently going before the Arizona Supreme Court because there is an old pre-statehood statute that completely bans abortion. Then there is the new statute which I think is the 15-week statute. We are now operating under the 15-week statute is right. This would be different, it would be viability which is 24 weeks… It would somewhat increase the right to abortion from what it is now,” Bender said.

Paul Bender, ASU Law Professor

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