Arizona House Speaker Under Fire Amidst Abortion Debate Storm

Arizona’s House Speaker Ben Toma is having a tough time as he tries to deal with the aftermath of Arizona’s Supreme Court decision. The court recently upheld a very old law from 1864 that bans most abortions in Arizona.

Since the court’s decision, Toma has helped stop Democrats in the House from trying to get rid of the ban, saying they can’t do it because of the rules.

National Republicans, including former President Trump and Kari Lake, want the old ban removed. If it goes away, a newer law from 2022 would take its place, allowing abortions up to 15 weeks into pregnancy.

Arizona House Speaker Under Fire Amidst Abortion Debate Storm
Ben Toma with Attendeed (Credits: AZCentral)

But Toma also wants to win a Republican primary for Congress. In that race, voters and groups against abortion might not like it if he gives in and supports a less strict ban on abortion.

Toma and other Republicans in Arizona have always thought abortion is wrong and should be against the law. But the Supreme Court’s decision to change things has made it tricky for both Republicans and Democrats.

Last year, Toma supported the 1864 law in a document he sent to the state Supreme Court.

But now, Toma is learning that being against abortion might not be the best idea politically. If people get really mad about the old ban, it could hurt Republicans’ chances of winning in Arizona.

Toma says there’s no hurry to decide on getting rid of the ban because the Legislature still has other work to finish first.

Arizona House Speaker Under Fire Amidst Abortion Debate Storm
Ben Toma (Credits: AZCentral)

Arizona is now in a big fight over abortion rights because of the court’s decision. The law from 1864 says almost all abortions are illegal in Arizona, and doctors who do them can go to jail.

Before the court’s decision, Trump said each state should make its own rules about abortion. But after the decision, he said it went too far and needed to be changed.

Kari Lake, who wants to be a senator, also doesn’t like the court’s decision. She’s trying to get lawmakers to change the law.

But Toma has stopped two attempts in the House to talk about getting rid of the old law. Only one other Republican voted with Democrats to try to talk about it.

In the Senate, two Republicans joined Democrats to try to change the law.

Toma told a news website that he doesn’t think anything will happen with the old law in the House.

Another Republican, David Cook, thinks there are enough votes to change the law next week, even if Toma doesn’t want to.

Arizona House Speaker Under Fire Amidst Abortion Debate Storm
Ben Toma (Credits: AZCentral)

Republicans who know Toma say he will probably keep saying no to changing the old law because that’s what people who might vote for him want.

Kirk Adams, who used to be the Speaker of the House in Arizona, says Toma is trying to do what’s best for him personally and for the Republican Party.

But if Toma doesn’t change the law, it could mean Republicans lose their majority in the Legislature.

Some Republicans say Toma should find a way to change the law a little bit, even if he doesn’t want to, because otherwise, it could hurt Republicans in the election.

A consultant who works with Republicans says that might be true, but Toma might also want to show voters he really cares about stopping abortion.

Some Republicans say abortion isn’t like other issues where you can change your mind. Matt Salmon, who used to be in the Legislature and Congress, says it’s a very serious issue for some people, not just a political game.

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