Kari Lake almost worked for group supporting Arizona abortion law she now opposes

Kari Lake almost worked for group supporting Arizona abortion law she now opposes

The political earthquake unleashed Tuesday by Arizona’s Supreme Court—ruling that the state’s anachronistic, draconian 1864 abortion ban could now go into effect—didn’t arise in a vacuum. It was the product of a multi-year effort by the anti-abortion lobby and its allies in the then-Republican Arizona Attorney General’s office, who initially argued that the ancient law should take precedence over the state’s current 15-week abortion ban. 

As reported in 2022 by Stephanie Innes, writing for the Arizona Republic, “Outgoing Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich wanted to uphold a 19th-century, Civil War-era near-total ban on abortion.”  Brnovich filed the original lawsuit in Pima County, arguing that the law should be enforced. The case ultimately found its way to the Arizona Court of Appeals, which held that the state’s 15-week ban was controlling, the position sought by Planned Parenthood Arizona. The case could and should have ended there.

But the well-organized, well-funded anti-abortion lobby could hardly resist a chance to impose an even harsher regime under the aegis of a Civil War-era statute. So, as reported by Jimmy Jenkins, also writing for the Arizona Republic, the anti-choicers turned to their legal arm, the Alliance Defending Freedom. This is the same right-wing lawyers’ advocacy group, described by POLITICO as “a conservative Christian legal fund,” that recently argued the case before the United States Supreme Court that will determine the fate of mifepristone, the abortion pill.

The Alliance is also the group that represented the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court’s infamous Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, overruling Roe v. Wade. And, according to an offhand remark current Senate candidate Kari Lake made during her failed 2022 gubernatorial campaign, the Alliance was nearly her employer.

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