Kari Lake Tells Arizonans They’re Still Allowed to Drive 3 Hours for Abortion!

In a series of word vomit, Lake said she doesn't support the state's 1864 abortion ban but also that it's not that bad because Arizonans can simply pull up to the next state???

Kari Lake Tells Arizonans They’re Still Allowed to Drive 3 Hours for Abortion!

On Wednesday, the Arizona state House rejected another motion to repeal the state’s 1864, Civil War-era criminal abortion ban, which is set to take effect in a matter of days after a state Supreme Court ruling last week. (However, a bill was successfully introduced in the Senate!) The furor surrounding the ban, which would criminalize and imprison anyone who provides abortion care except to save someone’s life, is expected to have significant electoral repercussions, especially as the state is set to vote on an abortion rights ballot measure this November. And Kari Lake—failed Republican gubernatorial candidate, Trump’s former roommate (basically), and current Arizona U.S. Senate candidate—is scrambling now that it’s become clear that no one wants the abortion policies she and her party have supported.

In 2022, Lake called the 1864 ban “a great law.” But last week she said, “I oppose today’s ruling, and I am calling on Katie Hobbs and the State Legislature to come up with an immediate common sense solution that Arizonans can support.” But the ruling she opposes is a direct consequence of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which Lake supported and continues to support. So Lake has gone from flip-flopping to just… making no sense whatsoever.

“Everyone’s fighting about a law that’s not even going to be enforced here in Arizona,” Lake said at a campaign event this week while also dismissing it as irrelevant because it’s not being enforced yet??? “Even if we have a restrictive law here, you can go three hours that way, three hours that way, and you’re going to be able to have an abortion.”

I’m really trying to make sense of this, but I think the point is that it doesn’t make sense. It’s all word vomit and an attempt to appease Arizona’s aggressive anti-abortion movement leaders, who have already called out Lake for betraying them, while also trying to dodge the electoral repercussions of a wildly unpopular policy.

It’s also obviously dismissive of the reality that people should be able to get essential health care like abortion in their own communities, and however much Lake would like to disassociate herself from what’s happening, it’s all happening because Republican lawmakers paved the way for the overturning of Roe. Trump himself, despite recently posturing as a “moderate” on abortion by stating that abortion should be left up to the states, continues to tirelessly take credit for being the one to end Roe. And the end of Roe is exactly why Arizona is about to enact an abortion ban that comes from the same era as slavery and predates both Arizona statehood and women’s suffrage.

Since Trump shared that he opposes a federal abortion ban, other Republicans, especially in potentially competitive races, have similarly attempted to posture as “moderate” on the issue of whether state governments should have the power to force people to give birth. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who faces a potentially competitive re-election race at the same time that Florida voters will vote on an abortion rights ballot measure, is attempting to present as moderate by supporting a 15-week national ban, which…isn’t moderate at all.

The “option” exists to travel out-of-state for abortion care, as Lake has so unhelpfully pitched to Arizonans, but what does that mean for people who can’t afford to travel? For people with severe pregnancy complications being turned away from doctors in their communities? For doctors and health care workers facing the threat of prison time for simply doing their jobs? Don’t let any of the mealy-mouthed nonsense obscure reality: Lake’s abortion pitch is insulting, all while Arizonans are on the brink of losing their most fundamental right to bodily autonomy thanks to her party.

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