Last Week This Morning: What Texas means for AZ
By TJ Hernandez
Abortion ban passes in Texas. Last week, a Texas law, SB8, went into effect that bans abortions past six weeks. It’s now the most restrictive law in the country, and SB8 even goes as far as to deputize family members, neighbors or strangers to sue anyone who helps someone get abortion care. The Supreme Court, stacked with three of Trump’s appointees, failed to intervene in this dangerous case, and then ruled that the most punitive abortion ban in the country could go into effect. With Roe v. Wade now under serious threat, calls are renewed to end the filibuster and pass federal legislation to protect the right to a safe and accessible abortion. In Arizona, there are multiple pre-existing laws on the books banning abortion and restricting contraception that would be triggered if Roe were overturned. Yet, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s only statement thus far, is a meme.
Community groups sue. Earlier this year, Doug Ducey signed into law multiple discriminatory bills pushed by Republican legislators that will make it more difficult to vote. Four Arizona organizations, LUCHA, Chispa Arizona, Mi Familia Vota, and Arizona Coalition for Change, who all work to register their communities, are now legally challenging two of these bills—SB 1485 and SB 1003. SB 1485 takes the “Permanent” out of the Permanent Early Voting List, and would remove hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls, while SB 1003 makes it harder for voters to correct issues with their signatures on mail-in ballots. These new laws, and similar bills in Texasand other states, are part of the coordinated attack on voters of color across the country. Again, the only solution is federal legislation to protect the right to vote, but the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act continue to face obstruction in the Senate due to the filibuster, despite being widely popular with voters.
Science shouldn’t be political. An Arizona father was arrested Friday after “barging in” to a principal’s office in Tucson, threatening to perform a “citizens arrest” over a school-mandated COVID-19 quarantine. There continues to be a heated divide over mask mandates and other rules and restrictions, particularly related to schools and universities. The politicization of these science-backed policies has contributed to increases in case numbers, and Gov. Ducey bares responsibility for using his ban on mask mandates to score political points with extremists. Some school districts have gone ahead with mask mandates, and Ducey is even attempting to withhold much-need federal money from school districts who go against his ban.
Reaction to SB8. Watch our latest Reel for more information about the Texas abortion law and what it means for Arizonans.
Protect our right to choose. Tell Senator Sinema that she must stand up for reproductive rights–end the filibuster, and pass federal legislation to protect safe and accessible abortions.
Labor day rally. Join the Arizona AFL-CIO for a Labor Day rally and town hall in support of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. Sign up here here.