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Top Arizona Republican tells residents to travel to California, other states for abortion

Many thought that the issue of abortion would be the main topic in the presidential race since the start of the primaries, but illegal immigration emerged as a main focus in attacks between Republicans and Democrats and their likely candidates for president, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. This outcome was further fueled by the fact that Texas, and especially California in recent months, still faces a surge in migrants at their borders with Mexico, while illegal immigration is becoming a topic of nationwide concern even among people living in areas that are not directly impacted by the influx of migrants.

Why it matters

This is very important for the presidential race because Donald Trump and Republicans repeatedly attack Democrats, and more specifically, the Biden administration, for not doing enough to secure the border, resulting in millions of migrants entering the U.S. since Biden took the White House office. Making illegal immigration a main topic of interest clearly benefits Trump in the race against Biden, who has failed to bring abortion ‘on the table’ for months now.

How we got here

In June 2022, in a devastating decision that will reverberate for generations, the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned its duty to protect fundamental rights and overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling there is no federal constitutional right to abortion. This decision lets states decide for themselves on abortion. Since June 2022, about half of U.S. states, governed by Republicans, have banned abortion or taken steps to limit access. On the other hand, many Democratic-led states enforced laws that guarantee abortion access.

Arizona Supreme Court ruling

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that the state must abide by the 1864 law that makes abortion punishable by between two and five years in prison. The only exception is if the mother’s life is at risk due to the pregnancy. This decision could potentially help Democrats and Biden bring the issue of abortion into the game again. This decision is so radical that even Donald Trump said that Arizona went too far when it came to banning abortion.

Read also: Trump faces huge problem in Arizona: Growing number of Republicans reject conspiracy-minded candidates

Kari Lake said earlier this week that Arizonans could travel to have an abortion, following the recent state Supreme Court ruling.
Credit: Unsplash

Kari Lake’s “solution”

Kari Lake said earlier this week that Arizonans could travel to have an abortion, following the recent state Supreme Court ruling. Lake, the front-runner in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, said that residents could “travel three hours” if they wanted to have an abortion, now that the state has upheld a strict ban that dates to 1864—48 years before joining the Union.

“You can go three hours that way, three hours that way, and you’re going to be able to have an abortion,” making reference to neighboring states like California with less strict abortion laws,” Lake told the audience while speaking at a campaign event Tuesday.

Arizona attorney general shows great opposition

“Well, for a number of reasons, we won’t be enforcing this law. First and foremost, it is unconstitutional. It violates our state’s right to privacy, which is expressly written into our Constitution. Secondly, you know, this isn’t over by a long shot. We still have an opportunity over the next 60 days to try to get this terrible decision reversed. It doesn’t take effect immediately. So we have anywhere from 45 to 60 days to try to stop this. This thing was passed or written when Arizona wasn’t even a state, women couldn’t vote and the Civil War was still raging,” Arizona AG, Kris Mayes, a Democrat, told NPR earlier this month.

Kari Lake said earlier this week that Arizonans could travel to have an abortion, following the recent state Supreme Court ruling.
credit: Kari Lake, official X

Read also: Controversial Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry: “We got to take the system that they (Democrats) have…”

California expects increase in patients from Arizona

The decision might lead to the closure of clinics throughout Arizona. Meanwhile, California lawmakers have reaffirmed their earlier commitment to welcome anyone seeking an abortion. In response to the verdict, Planned Parenthood is gearing up for an expected increase in Arizona residents traveling to California.

“We’ve been generally preparing over the last several years for more and more out-of-state patients through strategic investments and statewide efforts to move forward policy solutions to support abortion access,” Jodi Hicks, Planned Parenthood CEO, said to the Chronicle.

Republicans fear how could this impact the presidential race

Additionally, many conservatives nationwide are concerned that the controversy surrounding abortion laws could negatively impact the campaign of the likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

“Everyone’s fighting about a law that’s not even going to be enforced here in Arizona,” Lake added on Tuesday. “Even if we have a restrictive law here, you can go three hours that way, three hours that way, and you’re going to be able to have an abortion.”

Read also: Trump campaign faces huge problem in one key swing state: Pennsylvania

Lake still faces a challenge from Mark Lamb, the Pinal County sheriff, when state Republicans vote in the primary on July 30.

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