A Republican state senator fired back at the city of Tucson, whose Democrat leaders Tuesday passed a resolution saying the city will not enforce the state’s new ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.
“This resolution is meaningless. The City of Tucson does not have the legal authority to block a state law regarding abortion, which is of statewide concern and subject to the sole jurisdiction of the State Legislature. Cities cannot decide the legality of any state law for that matter,” State Senator Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) told The Arizona Sun Times. “That’s outside the scope of their authority. The City of Tucson will be in the position of losing state shared revenues if they persist in this action. We’ve reached out to the attorney general’s office for comment on this blatant disregard for law and overreach in regulating health professionals that have to comply with our state laws.”
Signed into law on March 30 by Governor Doug Ducey (R), SB 1164 disallows abortions after 15 weeks unless the life of the mother is in jeopardy.
It also makes performing an abortion after 15 weeks a class 6 felony, for which doctors could be charged, and for which their medical licenses can be revoked.
But Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and the City Council passed its resolution – which directs the Tucson Police Department (TDP) not to make such arrests – despite the new law.
“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,” she said on Twitter.
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. pic.twitter.com/Dsgv4VAZYi
— Regina Romero (@TucsonRomero) June 8, 2022
“I am not going to sit and wait as our constitutional rights are stripped away,” Romero said. “In the absence of Congressional action to enshrine Roe v. Wade into federal law, it is up to local governments to stand up to protect bodily autonomy and the rights of pregnant persons from repressive state laws.”
Romero recently made the news when she said Title 42 – a Trump-era rule allowing immigration authorities to turn away migrants at the border – should be abolished, despite the fact that record numbers of illegal aliens are entering into the United States.
“This is not our first rodeo,” Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) told The Hill at the time. “In Tucson, we have been on the front lines of receiving asylum-seekers and immigrants. We have a system in place with nonprofits and [the] Pima County government – we know how to do this.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].