HomeLearning CenterArizona Women Gear Up to Challenge Near-Total Abortion Ban in Upcoming Election

Arizona Women Gear Up to Challenge Near-Total Abortion Ban in Upcoming Election

Originally published by Sydney Gallego for Ms. Magazine

Tuesday, April 9, 2024, will go down in history. It is the day that far-right extremists got what they wanted in Arizona: a near-total ban on abortion. It is the day the Arizona Supreme Court turned the clock back 160 years—to a time before women could vote and before Arizona was even a state. It is a day that we will look back on with shame and horror.

Like so many Arizona moms, my first thought was of my daughter, who was born last July in a post-Roe America. I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around the fact that my daughter’s rights had been ripped away from her, that she could very well grow up in a world where she has less freedom than her mother and grandmothers had.

The inevitable consequences of this abortion ban for women and girls of her generation are almost too horrible to think about. We’ve all heard the stories about life pre-Roe: young girls and victims of rape or incest forced to give birth or seek dangerous back-alley abortions, doctors and nurses who face jail time for daring to provide abortion care, women dying from lack of access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare.

In states like Texas, where anti-abortion extremists have already succeeded in implementing an extreme abortion ban, we can already see the impacts. Last year, a Texas mom, Kate Cox, was denied an abortion by the Texas Supreme Court, even after learning her fetus had a fatal condition that would also threaten her life and future fertility. Eventually, she was forced to leave her home state to get the medically necessary abortion that she required. And she is one of the lucky ones.

We’ll never know the true number of women across the country who have been forced to give birth against their will since Dobbs, but we know it’s appallingly high. A research letter in JAMA Medical Journal estimates that, since Dobbs, nearly 65,000 pregnancies in 14 states that imposed total bans on abortion have been the result of rape.

Similarly, we will never know the full extent of the consequences of unsafe abortions that will take place in the shadows of a total abortion ban. All we do know is that they will be happening.

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