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They are ‘ripping away the right to choose’

Arizona ruling criminalizes nearly all abortions as post-Roe healthcare landscape continues to deteriorate


WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 10, 2024) — Arizona’s conservative Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that state officials may enforce an 1864 law that criminalizes nearly all abortions, including in cases of rape or incest. The arcane law carries a sentence of two to five years in prison for doctors or anyone else who assists in an abortion.

The ruling comes just one day after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announced that states should be allowed to decide their own policies on reproductive rights. The Arizona court decision shows the full implications of that position as states run by conservatives seek to impose stricter and stricter abortion bans in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has decried these “attacks on the bodily autonomy and rights of working people and threats to the safety of our families and communities.”

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a longtime leader in the fight to protect and expand access to reproductive health care and abortion rights, issued the following statement Tuesday in response to the Arizona ruling:

“This extreme abortion ban dating back to 1864—during the Civil War, before women had the right to vote, and before Arizona was a state—will mean more women will suffer in Arizona, more women will be forced to flee their home state for basic health care, and more women will be forced to stay pregnant when they don’t want to be, even if it threatens their health.

“This deadly and chaotic health care landscape is the cruel reality that Donald Trump and Republicans created by ending Roe and ripping away the right to choose—and they won’t stop until abortion is banned in every state.”

President Joe Biden released the following statement Tuesday:

“Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest. This cruel ban was first enacted in 1864—more than 150 years ago, before Arizona was even a state and well before women had secured the right to vote. This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom.

“Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose. We will continue to fight to protect reproductive rights and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state.”

Meanwhile, the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether states like Idaho and now Arizona can ban lifesaving abortions. A federal law requires hospitals to provide abortions when necessary to prevent serious health consequences, but  Supreme Court justices could neutralize that law.


The STAND (Jan. 24, 2023) — New report links abortion access to economic security

The STAND (June 27, 2022) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter) — Organized labor has the tools to transform protests into concrete actions defending bodily autonomy.

The STAND (May 3, 2022) — WSLC: ‘Reproductive rights are workers’ rights’ — The Washington State Labor Council will fight to defend healthcare choices, abortion rights.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!