Every American should be free to peacefully support causes they believe in without being harassed or intimidated.
Someone should tell that to Terry Goddard. For years, the former Attorney General of Arizona has been leading a campaign to “Stop Dark Money” in our state. Although the name sounds nefarious, it’s nothing more than clever messaging aimed to scare the average person.
But now Goddard’s new donor harassment initiative is set to file signatures in the coming days. And if it makes it onto the ballot and becomes law, it would be a devastating blow to donor privacy and free speech.
In a resolution passed Tuesday, the Tucson mayor and city council declared support for local law enforcement to not enforce laws banning abortion should the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturn Roe v. Wade. Should SCOTUS uphold the constitutionality of abortion, the resolution directed law enforcement to refer any complaints of abortion restriction violations to the Arizona Department of Health Services instead of responding. The mayor and council also denounced Arizona laws prohibiting or criminalizing abortions in any manner.
The resolution language fluctuated between insinuating that abortion was a woman’s issue and a “pregnant person’s” right. It also claimed that abortion was a safe medical intervention that contributed to Tucson residents’ welfare, namely women’s physical, psychological, and socioeconomic well-being.
In a statement announcing the resolution’s approval, Romero equated abortion to health care.
“Tonight, we have taken bold action to ensure that no Tucsonan is criminalized for exercising their reproductive freedoms and right to make personal health decisions without government interference,” said Romero.
The resolution came about shortly after the Politico report of a leaked Supreme Court (SCOTUS) draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization determining the constitutionality of abortion. The individual responsible for leaking the confidential SCOTUS document hasn’t been identified or named publicly. Currently, SCOTUS clerks are the prime focus of investigatory efforts; anonymous insiders told CNNthat officials required clerks to turn over private cell phone data and sign affidavits.
In a mid-May memo, Romero cited a previous resolution from last November to justify her request for this latest resolution.
“Roe v. Wade has made it clear that [the right to abortion services] is fundamental,” wrote Romero.
The latest announcement from Tucson leadership comes about a month after Pima County Attorney Laura Conover promised to not give jail time to those seeking or assisting abortions if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade.
Support for elective abortions is widespread within the Tucson area. As AZ Free News reported late last month, an abortion rights group with University of Arizona (UArizona), Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAZ), and Pima County Democratic Party ties launched a ballot initiative to make abortion a right in the Arizona Constitution.
The abortion rights group relies on ActBlue, a fundraising platform used exclusively by Democrats, to collect their donations. They argued that “old white men” shouldn’t legislate women’s bodies. Of the nine SCOTUS justices determining the fate of elective abortions, five are white men, two are white women, one is Latina, and one is a Black man. One of the white male justices, Stephen Breyer, is considered liberal.
The publication date for the official opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization remains to be determined.
Pima County Attorney Laura Conover promised to break Arizona law if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade and the state outlaws abortion. Conover vowed that those seeking or assisting in abortions wouldn’t receive any jail time on her watch.
“We will do everything in our power to ensure that no person seeking or assisting in an abortion will spend a night in jail,” said Conover.
Arizona’s latest abortion restriction, SB1164, banned abortions after 15 weeks. Governor Doug Ducey signed it into law in March.
However, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade’s legalized abortion in deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Arizona may revert to its original outright ban on abortion dating back to the beginning of its statehood. SB1164’s language reflected support of that outcome.
“This act does not: […] Repeal, by implication or otherwise, section 13-3602, Arizona Revised Statutes, or any other applicable state law regulating or restricting abortion,” reads the law.
From 1901, before Arizona achieved statehood in 1912, to the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, Arizona outlawed abortion completely. Later versions of the law retained the majority of the original language but modified punishments — up until the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, anyone who performed abortions received two to five years’ prison time.
If the Supreme Court overturns the precedents established by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, then the state may return to its total ban, which some legislators have identified as a “trigger law”: A.R.S. 13:3603.
Conover wouldn’t be the only county attorney to defy an Arizona law banning abortion. Democratic candidate for Maricopa County Attorney Julie Gunnigle pledged to disregard any restrictions or bans on abortion if she wins. Her promise focused on the latest law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks.
Wednesday night, pro-abortion activists gathered outside the Arizona State Capitol to protest SB1164 and the Supreme Court’s draft majority opinion.
On Wednesday, less than a day after Politico leaked the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning abortion rights, abortion activists protested at the Arizona State Capitol.
Multiple attendees and reporters present estimated that thousands descended on the capitol.
Pro-life protestors also appeared at the Arizona State Capitol to challenge the pro-abortion activists.
Protestors also rallied in downtown Tucson and Flagstaff.
Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that two men were arrested. One allegedly engaged in disorderly conduct, the other allegedly committed an assault.
If the Supreme Court maintains a ruling matching the leaked draft opinion, then Arizona would likely ban abortion completely.
From the time Arizona became a state to the Roe v. Wade ruling, Arizona outlawed abortion completely, excepting life-threatening pregnancies, and punished anyone who performed abortions with prison time. If the Supreme Court overturns the precedents established by Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, then the state may return to a total ban. The ban exists still within the Arizona Revised Statutes under Title 13, Chapter 36.
In March, Governor Doug Ducey signed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, SB1164. The law would go in effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends.
Elsewhere, pro-abortion protests turned into riots. In Los Angeles, California rioters attacked policemen and vandalized the city. In Portland, Oregon, riots incited by Antifa broke out.
Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs cursed out the country after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion circulated on Monday night. She capitalized on the incident with a plug to fundraise for her campaign.
“F**k the patriarchy,” said Hobbs. “If you agree, help us defend the right to choose in Arizona.”
State Representative and congressional candidate Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake) criticized Hobbs as not being a serious individual in response.
Politico published the leaked opinion on Monday night. Justice Samuel Alito authored the 98-page draft majority opinion, which dated back to February. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett signed onto the opinion.
Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft. He ordered an investigation into the leak. Although much speculation abounded following the Politico report, no official suspects have been named.
Roberts assured the country that the leak wouldn’t influence the final ruling.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way,” said Roberts.
While Arizona’s Republican elected officials acknowledged the draft opinion’s content, their greater focus was on the individual responsible for the leak. Arizona’s Democratic elected officials, however, focused on their disagreement with the opinion. They didn’t address the alleged impropriety of the leak — some appeared to even justify it.
Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) said that while he agreed with the ruling, he disapproved of the leak and speculated that someone with pro-abortion views was responsible. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) concurred.
Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07) argued that the bigger issue at hand wasn’t the fact that someone compromised the process of the highest court in the land by leaking sensitive documents unintended for public consumption. Rather, he argued that the bigger issue was how SCOTUSblog, the independent media blog offering Supreme Court reporting, engaged in “inside ball bulls**t.”
Like his Democratic peers, Congressman Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09) called for the Senate to codify abortion on demand.
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02) argued that the draft opinion didn’t reflect the American people’s will. One of the first arguments in the majority draft opinion asserted that both Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood weren’t based on legal rationale. Rather, Alito wrote that both rulings contained arbitrary, legislation-like rules.
Both of Arizona’s Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly didn’t address the leak, just their disagreement with the draft majority opinion.
Vice President Kamala Harris accused the Supreme Court justices of “want[ing] to punish women” by “tak[ing] away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies.” Harris claimed that the ruling threatened the “right to privacy” — a concept not enumerated within the Constitution but contrived in the 1890s by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.
President Joe Biden pledged to push for legalized abortion on demand legislation, should the draft opinion become the final ruling.
The leak inspired pro-abortion and pro-life activists to turn up at the courthouse.