Kari Lake in front of arizona art deco background

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Kari Lake walks back her praise for Arizona’s ‘great’ total abortion ban now that it’s become law

Her stance is totally flipped now.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Apr 9, 2024   Updated on Apr 9, 2024, 3:35 pm CDT

Today, the Arizona Supreme Court decided a complete ban on abortion in the state, a law written in 1864, is constitutional.

The ban will replace the state’s 2022 15-week abortion ban in 14 days. Republican Kari Lake, a former news anchor who is running for Senate in Arizona, released a statement saying she is against the complete ban.

The ruling comes after a former Republican attorney general petitioned the state Supreme Court to reinstate the total ban. The state’s current attorney general, a Democrat, already vowed not to enforce the new ruling.

Based on her statement, Lake’s position seems to have changed since 2021, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which protected a right to an abortion. At the time, she said the 1864 total ban was “a great law.”

“We have a great law on the books right now,” Lake said. “If that happens (Roe is overturned), we will be a state where we will not be taking the lives of our unborn anymore.”

At the time, Lake was running for governor of Arizona. She lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Now that the 1864 law is going into effect in Arizona, Lake has changed her tune. In a statement released today, Lake said the law is “out of step with Arizonans,” and that if elected as a senator, she will oppose a federal ban on abortion.

“I oppose today’s ruling,” Lake said in her statement. “I am calling on Katie Hobbs and the State Legislature to come up with an immediate common sense solution that Arizonans can support.”

The state Supreme Court decision comes a day after former President Donald Trump reaffirmed that he supports abortion laws being left up to individual states, in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.

The announcement drew backlash from hardliners, who want a federal ban. But Republican politicians seem to be sensing that is a losing issue.

Arizona’s state legislature is controlled by Republicans, but that doesn’t mean the body will let the 1864 law stand in Arizona. State Sen. T.J. Shope (R) said in a statement that, like he did in 2022, he backs a 15-week statewide abortion ban and that the state Supreme Court decision is “disappointing.”

“Today’s Arizona Supreme Court decision reinstating an Arizona Territorial-era ban on all abortions from more than 150 years ago is disappointing to say the least and has ignored our legislative intent,” Shope wrote in a statement posted on X. “I will immediately work with my legislative colleagues to repeal the territorial law so that the policy we placed in Statute, just two years ago, that places reasonable limitations on abortion that a majority of Arizonans support, can stand.”

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*First Published: Apr 9, 2024, 3:30 pm CDT