Arizona Lawmakers Supporting Abortion Repeal Removed from Committees

Two lawmakers in the Arizona House, one from each party, were removed from key committee assignments Wednesday after voting with the majority to repeal the state’s 1864 abortion ban.

State Rep. Matt Gress, one of three Republicans who voted with Democrats to repeal the law, was taken off the Appropriations Committee. Democratic Rep. Oscar De Los Santos was removed from the Appropriations and Rules committees, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the House voted 32-28 to repeal the law that imposed a near-total ban on abortion, with exceptions only to save the life of the mother. The law also included criminal penalties for assisting a woman in getting an abortion.

Former President Donald Trump and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Keri Lake had called for the repeal of the 1864 law after it was deemed constitutional by the Arizona Supreme Court.

If the proposed repeal is passed by the GOP-controlled Senate and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, a new statute prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy would become the prevailing abortion law in 2022.

Reporter attempts to reach Gress for his comment on being removed from the Appropriations Committee were unsuccessful. Gress did post a statement on X regarding his decision to vote for repealing the law.

“As someone who is both Pro-Life and the product of strong women in my life, I refuse to buy into the false notion pushed by the extremes on both sides of the issue that we cannot respect and protect women and defend new life at the same time,” Gress wrote.

State Reps. Tim Dunn and Justin Wilmeth were the other Republicans who voted with Democrats to repeal the ban.

“I find it disgraceful that the Republicans are retaliating against me for speaking out for reproductive freedom,” De Los Santos told The Hill. “I will not be silenced. I will not be intimidated.”

Newsmax reached out to Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma for comment on the removal of Gress and De Los Santos from committees.

Several Republicans who supported the 1864 abortion ban expressed frustration with their colleagues who crossed party lines to repeal the law.

“I am disgusted today,” Republican state Rep. Rachel Jones said, according to The Washington Post. “Life is one of the tenets of our Republican platform. To see people go back on that value is egregious to me.”

The Senate, where Republicans hold a two-seat majority (16-14), would need two GOP senators to align with Democrats to repeal the law. The Senate is proceeding with a mirror version of the repeal bill, as indicated by the Post, signaling potential GOP support for the House-approved bill. The earliest the Senate might vote on the House version is May 1, based on the chamber’s schedule.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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