It (The 1901 abortion ban) was passed before Arizona was a state and before women could vote…This law is cruel, life-threatening, and rips away millions of Arizonan’s freedoms... The government has no business interfering with the decisions doctors make every day when doing their jobs…As Arizona’s governor, I will do everything in my power and every tool at my disposal to restore abortion rights in Arizona…women’s rights are not a bargaining chip...”

Arizona Secretary of State and 2022 Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs.

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Women and Girls will die because of this…Together, we are strong and we are ready to will move forward, not be dragged back to 1901…The remedy is clear. Join us at the ballot box, stand up, speak out, and vote…We (when after taking office in January,) will not enforce any of the abortion bans that exist in Arizona. It is apparently okay with our Republican opponents that a woman is raped in the state of Arizona can be forced to carry to term. That is not acceptable. That is not acceptable…I will fight any subpoena that is issued by law enforcement against any woman, or any doctor, or any hospital. “

Arizona Attorney General 2022 Democratic Nominee Kris Mayes.

As a woman from a country where women can be beaten, imprisoned, and even killed for showing strands of their hair, can’t imagine living in a state where my body is now once again controlled (by others…)

Dr. Baharak Tabarsi, MD, FAAFP

The above remarks are some of the highlights from the joint press conference held today at the Arizona Attorney’s Office in Phoenix today (September 24, 2022) with Katie Hobbs, Kris Mayes, and Dr. Baharak Tabarsi.

All three soundly condemned the Pima County Court decision taking Arizonan women’s reproductive freedoms back to a time (1901) before they could vote.

All of them highlighted the stress that will immediately befall women and their medical providers now as they consider the following scenarios:

  • As a woman, when can I get medical care if I start to miscarry? As a physician, when it is legally permissible to provide it?
  • As a woman, can I purchase the morning-after pill? As a physician, can I legally prescribe it?
  • As a woman who has undergone invitro fertilization and has some embryos in cold storage do I have to impregnate myself with them now?
  • As a physician, am I liable if I advise a patient to go to a state where abortion is legal.
  • As a woman, will I get in legal trouble when I come back to Arizona after getting an abortion in California, New Mexico, or Colorado?
  • As a woman and/or a physician, should I move? Is Arizona safe to live in?

Dr. Baharak Tabarsi. From the Katie Hobbs Campaign.

Dr. Baharak Tabarsi equates what is now happening to Arizona women with this abortion ban to what happens to them in her native Iran. 

Family physician Dr. Baharak Tabarsi opened the press conference by relaying her concerns about the now active ban on abortion services.

She stated, “As a physician, I also know and fully attest to the fact that abortion is health care. A matter between a person with a uterus and their doctor. Imagine a law where your physician’s hands were tied and she could not prescribe for you the medications and treatments you needed so that you could live your life to the fullest.”

Dr. Tabarsi also noted that anti-abortion laws are devastating to the communities she regularly serves like “marginalized and vulnerable patients, color, people fleeing from persecution, immigrants, and refugees” because those patients do not “have the means to access care.”

In her closing remarks, she commented, “as a woman from a country where women can be beaten, imprisoned, and even killed for showing strands of their hair, can’t imagine living in a state where my body is now once again controlled by others.”

From the Katie Hobbs for Governor Campaign.

Attorney General Nominee Kris Mayes Lays Out what is at Stake for Women and Health Care Providers with this Now Active Abortion Ban.

Attorney General Nominee Kris Mayes quickly laid out what was at stake for women and health care providers after the September 23, 2022, Pima County Court Decision, stating:

“Let’s be honest. This cruel law is about controlling women by attempting to control our bodies and our lives…This outrageous law represents a clear violation of the rights of women in our state…It puts the health of women at risk in a way we have not seen in my lifetime. Women and girls will die because of this…It will impact our economy and our ability to attract and retain talent..It is a glaring black eye for the state of Arizona. What company is going to want to relocate to a state where their employees can have to deal with this extreme law. What young woman is going to want to come to Arizona and study and work at our universities in the face of a 1901 ban on abortion.”

She then outlined what she would do as Attorney General if elected this November, offering:

“When I am attorney general, I will immediately challenge this law as an unconstitutional violation of women’s rights and replace Bronvich’s opinion with mine. I believe that Arizona’s constitution express rights to privacy (Article 2 Section 8) protects reproductive rights in Arizona and makes all of these laws unconstitutional. What can be more private than what a woman does with her body?”

Reminding the press that she has a 12 Point Plan to deal with reproductive rights, she said, “When I am elected Arizona Attorney General, I will take every step to protect women’s rights…It is unacceptable that Arizona women are now being forced back in time to 1901 and the young women in this state now have fewer rights than I and other women have had our entire lives.”

Ms. Mayes then chastised current Attorney General Mark Bronvich and her opponent, Abe Hamadeh for supporting the 1901 abortion ban, relaying “they (Brnovich and Hamadeh) do not care about the safety and protection of women and they would probably like to take away the vote”

The Attorney General nominee then issued a call for people to vote, stating, “We refuse to go backward. We will fight to defeat this law by voting for an attorney general and governor that will uphold our right to privacy and our bodily autonomy. Our rights are on the ballot this November. With the people of Arizona, we will preserve the right of reproductive freedom for future generations by voting. Together, we are strong and we are ready to will move forward, not be dragged back to 1901. The remedy is clear. Join us at the ballot box, stand up, speak out, and vote.”

 

Katie Hobbs Talks about her Personal Experience and Vows, as Governor, to do Everything in Her Power to Overturn the Pre Statehood Abortion Ban.

Picking up from Mayes, Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs opened her remarks by stating:

“I am here as a woman, mother, social worker, and an Arizonan to say that I am absolutely devastated and outraged by yesterday’s ruling by the Pima County Superior Court…Yesterday’s ruling to uphold a Draconian territorial era ban is a terrible blow to Arizonan’s reproductive freedoms.” She noted that there was no exception for rape or incest and “risks women’s fundamental freedom to make our own health care decisions.  It was passed before AZ was a state and before women could vote. An outdated and oppressive law from 100 years ago…This law means providers can be thrown in jail for providing reproductive care.”

Secretary Hobbs then spoke about her personal experience of when she had to have a procedure done to remove the pregnancy tissue because her health was endangered. She noted that this new law could make that life-saving procedure illegal now.

She went on to say, “This law is cruel, life-threatening, and rips away millions of Arizonans’ freedoms…The government has no business interfering with the decisions doctors make every day when doing their jobs.”

The Gubernatorial Nominee then discussed her experience as a social worker when victims had to deal with domestic violence traumatizing effects an unwanted pregnancy (from rape) can have on the woman and her family.

She also said that the “overwhelming number of Arizonans support access to safe and legal abortion…This decision… is not democratic and it is not right.”

Hobbs also attacked her opponent, Kari Lake, for calling the 1901 abortion ban “a great law,” further saying, “make no mistake, Lake and her out-of-touch allies are not going to stop here. Kari Lake’s support of this ban and her support for additional restrictions on reproductive care prove that if elected governor, she will continue to put our health and freedoms on the line. We cannot let her hold public office and have the power to enact the extreme, anti-choice policies that she’s spent her entire campaign touting.”

She then told the gathering what she would do as Arizona Governor to restore abortion rights including calling “a special session to overturn this draconian law” and using “my veto pen to block any abortion legislation that comes to my desk.”

Saying, “I will not compromise my belief that women deserve access to a safe and legal abortion,” she told voters, “Now is the time to get off the sidelines. Elect pro-choice candidates up and down the ballot. Let’s fight like women’s lives are on the line. Get off the sidelines and vote.”

Hobbs and Mayes respond to Questions from Reporters.

After their presentations, the two nominees and Dr. Tabarsi responded to questions from reporters.

Among the noteworthy responses were:

  • Kris Mayes mocking Republican candidates for “hiding under a rock” to avoid reporter questions about the Pima County Court decision.
  • Katie Hobbs, when asked twice by reporters, about compromise legislation on abortion, said “women’s rights are not a bargaining chip.”
  • Dr. Tabarsi on what doctors are feeling: “morally injured,” and they “feel like their hands are tied behind their backs.”
  • On victims of rape and incest, Kris Mayes said, “It is apparently okay with our Republican opponents that a woman is raped in the state of Arizona can be forced to carry to term. That is not acceptable. That is not acceptable.”
  • On enforcing the abortion bans if she becomes Attorney General, Mayes said,” we (when after taking office in January,) will not enforce any of the abortion bans that exist in Arizona…I will advise all county attorneys that these laws are all unconstitutional. This law is blatantly unconstitutional and I will not enforce it…The supreme law of Arizona is the constitution of Arizona. It may be inconvenient for our Republican opponents that we have an expressed right to privacy in our constitution but we do but I will enforce it (the right to privacy.) I will fight any subpoena that is issued by law enforcement against any woman, or any doctor, or any hospital. We will fight and fight and fight in the courts for the rights of women to access reproductive care and abortion in this state. We will use any legal means available to us.”
  • On how Arizona can become like Texas, Hobbs relayed that “people are going to emergency rooms in Texas and are being turned away and told to come back when their life is at risk. That is not a stretch to say that can happen (here) with these one size fits all bans…”
  • On invitro fertilization probably becoming illegal in Arizona, Mayes explained that “because this is a total ban on abortion and in IVF, you create multiple embryos. Sometimes, some of them are not used. This law would make that process and make that premeditated murder.” Talk about Future Shock and Brave New World.

The 2022 elections are in 47 days.

Voters have to decide.

Do they want to live in a society that mirrors the totalitarian worlds depicted in Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, It Can’t Happen Here, and Brave New World?

Or

Do they want to live in a state and country where everyone has equal rights with safe health care laws where women do not have to drive in the middle of the night to a neighboring state to get the reproductive care they need and worry about being arrested when they come home?

These and other important issues like protecting the right to vote, combatting climate change, and fully funding public schools, where the divisions between both political parties are so vast, can only leave voters with one decision.

Vote for the candidates that will safeguard your rights, work to lift you up, and serve to move the state forward.

 

 

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