On Wednesday, Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed a series of legislative measures into law that pertain to a number of hot-button issues in the country.
Ducey signed an abortion ban, a ban on biological males participating in women’s sports, a ban on minors getting transgender reassignment surgery, and an election integrity bill.
The moves sparked backlash from Democrats, labeling the measures as anti-trans and "unconstitutional." The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to retaliate.
Meanwhile, Ducey marked the occasion by participating in the 17th "State of the State" conference held in downtown Phoenix.
Here are the exact details of what Governor Ducey enacted today:
- Abortion: SB 1164, sponsored by state Senator Nancy Barto, bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of emergency. "In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life – including preborn life," Ducey remarked in a letter on why he approved the legislation. He added that he hoped SCOTUS will "uphold a similar Mississippi law in the coming weeks."
- Women’s Sports: SB 1165 was also sponsored by Sen. Barto. It establishes a statewide requirement to separate school sports teams on the basis of biological sex (but there’s also a co-ed/mixed option). "Every young Arizona athlete should have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that give them a sense of belonging and allow them to grow and thrive," the Arizona Governor wrote alongside the announcement.
- Gender Surgeries: SB 1138, sponsored by Senator Warren Peterson, delays gender reassignment surgeries until the age of 18. "The reason is simple, and common sense – this is a decision that will dramatically affect the rest of an individual’s life, including the ability of that individual to become a biological parent later in life," was Ducey’s rationale in signing it into law. His announcement mentions the bill doesn’t stop puberty-blocking hormones or other such therapies.
- Election Integrity: HB 2492, sponsored by state Rep. Jake Hoffman. It tackles the issue of voters not providing proof of citizenship by demanding as much. It also mandates routine updates and checks of voter databases. "Election integrity means counting every lawful vote and prohibiting any attempt to illegally cast a vote," Governor Ducey said in describing his support for signing the bill.
On top of the latest actions mentioned above, Ducey announced he’s ending the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency on the grounds that Arizona’s metrics indicate the pandemic has died down.
In his remarks, Governor Ducey expressed that although the virus "isn’t completely gone," response measures like the vaccine have done their jobs.