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Biden’s message to Arizonans after abortion ruling: ‘Elect me’

President Biden on Wednesday encouraged Arizona residents to vote for re-election following the state Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld an 1864 law and made abortion a felony.

At a press conference with the Japanese prime minister, Biden was asked what he would say to the people of Arizona following the verdict.

“Pick me. I’m in the 20th century, the 21st century. It wasn’t like that back then,” the president said. “They weren’t even a nation.”

The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an argument that the current 15-week abortion ban signed into law in 2022 by then-Arizona governor should be upheld. Doug Ducey (R), enacted after Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the court ruled that Arizona should enforce a Civil War-era law enacted before it became a state. The court ruled to lift the suspension of the law, meaning it will take effect within 14 days.

But the justices also sent the case back to a lower court to sort out questions about the law’s constitutionality.

The century-old law makes abortion a felony, punishable by two to five years in prison if a woman performs or facilitates one. This includes a very narrow exception “if necessary” to save the life of a pregnant person.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (Democratic) called for this. Prohibition of 1864 is repealedand the state’s Democratic attorney general said he would not enforce the abortion ban.

Biden and his campaign have made abortion access a central pillar of their re-election efforts, and former President Trump and Republican leaders have made reproductive health care a priority after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June 2022. warned that it posed a serious threat.

Polls show that one area where voters trust Biden more than Trump is on abortion. A Wall Street Journal poll of voters in battleground states released last week found that 45% of voters surveyed had more confidence in the incumbent on this issue, compared to 45% who preferred the former president. The answer was 33%.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, declined earlier this week to say whether he supports federal legislation banning abortion, arguing instead that it should be left to states to decide on abortion policies, either by vote or by law.

But Biden aides cited the Arizona ruling and argued that leaving abortion policy up to each state would mean an arcane and restrictive ban that would mean women across the country would no longer have access to abortions.

President Trump said Wednesday that Arizona had gone too far in its ruling and that he expected “to be condemned outright.”

“And you know, it’s all about states’ rights. That’s going to be fixed,” he said. “And I’m confident that the governor and everyone else is going to put this issue back on track, and I think it’s going to be resolved soon.”

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