Democrats say MAGA movement wants to take America back in time following Arizona abortion ruling

The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a 19th-century abortion ban that critics say will disproportionately impact Black and brown women.

Pro-abortion protests,
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 2023/04/15: Activists holding abortion rights signs shout slogans during a rally. Abortion rights activists rallied outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. (Photo by Probal Rashid/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Members of Congress are blasting the Arizona Supreme Court for upholding a 19th-century abortion ban that they say threatens the lives of the most vulnerable: Black and brown women.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., told theGrio former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement wants “to take us back to those days when women and people of color had no rights.”

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., said the ruling is “horrible.” He told theGrio the “attack” on women in the United States is “disgusting.”

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said the ban, which outlaws nearly all medical abortions, is “quite alarming.” She told theGrio, “I knew that when Roe v. Wade was overturned, Republicans were not going to stop taking away bodily autonomy from women.”  

The Democratic lawmaker added that this is another example of Republicans wanting “control.”

Democratic Arizona State Senator Anna Hernandez told theGrio that she is “infuriated” by the decision because marginalized communities will be impacted the most.

“They don’t have the luxury of taking time off or the means to travel to” neighboring states like Nevada or California to seek abortion care, Hernandez noted.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law that makes it a felony punishable from two to five years for anyone who performs an abortion or helps a woman get one. The law also prohibits abortions from the time of conception unless the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. However, the law excludes cases of incest and rape.

Abortion posters,
Planned Parenthood and Los Angeles County leaders hold a news conference to respond to a Texas judge’s ruling to rescind the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for mifepristone, a drug that blocks a hormone called progesterone that is needed for a pregnancy to continue, in Los Angeles on April 10, 2023. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In a statement from the White House, President Joe Biden said that the ruling is a part of the “extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom.”

Hernandez said that the “government has no business in the healthcare decisions” and that “very extreme lawmakers … are only legislating for power and control.”

She noted that if far-right-leaning politicians cared about children, they would “support policies that help families after their kids are born to help them prosper … but that’s not what we see here.”

During the weekly House Democratic Leaders News Conference, U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., told reporters that the court’s decision “is exactly what Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans intended when they worked to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Stanton warned that people “will die” as a result of this abortion ban.

The Arizona court said it would halt its ruling for 14 days and remand the case to a lower court to consider any outstanding constitutional challenges. At this time, a 15-week-abortion ban will remain in place in the state.

The court’s decision comes nearly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling that states have the sole authority to enact their own abortion laws after almost 50 years of abortion being a federal constitutional right. As a result, many Republican-led states like Texas, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama have enacted some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, disproportionately impacting women of color.

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Voters in Arizona still have an opportunity to reverse the court’s decision and protect abortion rights when they cast their ballots in November.

Rep. Stanton believes that “people will run to the polls” in November due to the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling, which he argued is the opposite of what his constituents want.

In the meantime, President Biden called on members of Congress to restore the protections that Roe v. Wade provided for “women in every state.”

U.S. Rep. Crockett, D-Texas, told theGrio that she is “exhausted” by the number of abortion bans being enacted in the U.S.

“It is a deflating feeling … you can’t do what you need to do just for everyday people that are literally just trying to live,” said Crockett.

However, the Texas congresswoman said she must find the “courage” and “energy to keep fighting because I wouldn’t have had Roe in my life if not for warriors who fought for something that had never been accomplished before.”

Despite Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion care across the U.S., Crockett said she is hopeful that reproductive rights will be restored.

Rep. Johnson told theGrio that the solution to protecting bodily autonomy for women and pregnant people is to re-elect Biden, maintain control of the U.S. Senate, and “take back” the U.S. House of Representatives.