How abortion issue will affect Arizona voting still unclear

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:00 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It appears the abortion issue will have an impact on the elections in Arizona but at this point, how big that impact will be is still a mystery.

A recent Highground Public Affairs survey asked voters if they would vote for a Republican who wanted to end abortion or a Democrat who would preserve it. 22% said Republican. 62% said Democrat.

The organization also found a significant increase in young women, GenZ, registering to vote according to Doug Cole, the companies Chief Operating Officer.

“I have seen data that has shown that of registered voters in Arizona that 87% do not support the government intruding into their lives in medical decisions and personal decisions like abortion,: said Brittany Fonteno, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood in Arizona.

But that hasn’t translated into a big registration push in Pima County. Only 588 new voters have registered Democratic since July. Independents have registered 2,644 and Republicans 1,037.

“That’s why I say I’m a cautious optimist,” she said. “I think that if anything that has taught us over the last several years is that you never really know what’s going to happen until the election is over.”

On Saturday, SB1164 is scheduled to take effect in Arizona banning abortion after 15 weeks except to save the mother. It was passed without a single Democratic vote in the Arizona legislature and signed by the Governor in March.

But it also competes with a territorial bill passed by Arizona before statehood and based on an 1864 law banning abortion. Pima County put an injunction on the bill in 1973 when Roe v Wade was passed. The state is asking a Pima County court lift the injunction and make it state law.

“We’re expecting this week to be a very big week not just for Planned Parenthood but for reproductive freedom in Arizona,” Fontena said.

The organization is prepared for whichever becomes state law but if the court lifts the injunction and the 1901 law becomes state law, the strategy is a bit different.

“We will comply with what the outcome of the legal decision is but we will appeal that decision,” she said. “We will keep fighting.”