Arizona Senate Hopeful Kari Lake Calls on Sheriffs to Apply Historic Abortion Ban

Arizona Senate Hopeful Kari Lake Calls on Sheriffs to Apply Historic Abortion Ban

Kari Lake, a Republican Senate candidate, cannot seem to make up her mind. Does she agree that Arizona’s Civil War-era total abortion prohibition is a “great law” and that abortion is “the ultimate sin,” as she stated during the 2022 campaign? Or does she believe that all women should have “choices” when they become pregnant, as she stated in a recent campaign video?

Lake initially issued a statement declaring it “abundantly clear that the pre-statehood law is out of step with Arizonans” views on abortion in the aftermath of a state Supreme Court decision re-animating the 1864 law that prohibits abortion at any point in pregnancy for any reason other than to save the mother’s life. She urged state leaders “to come up with an immediate common sense solution.”

Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) had already proposed one. The state’s chief law enforcement official declared that her office would not enforce the ban, which is set to re-take effect in June. The law states that anyone who “provides, supplies, or administers” an abortion faces up to five years in prison.

However, last weekend, Lake urged that county sheriffs enforce the 1684 abortion ban: “We can have that law, but it’s not going to be enforced with the people we have in office,” Lake reportedly told a Mohave County Republican Party event. “Only our sheriffs can implement that law. And we should start asking sheriffs if they are willing to enforce that. I don’t believe they are. The Copper Courier first reported the statements.

Lake’s words came only days after he posted a video claiming, “A full ban on abortion is not where the people are.” In the same video, she stated that she wants to “make sure that every woman who finds herself pregnant has more choices,” and that there must be exceptions for rape and incest, which the 1864 legislation does not include.

Voters may have an opportunity to weigh in on the issue, but not until November, when a referendum initiative protecting the right to abortion until fetal viability, which is roughly 24 weeks, is anticipated to appear on the ballot.

Meanwhile, at least one county attorney has expressed an interest in pursuing cases under the 1864 law. There are probably some Arizona sheriffs who would be willing to respond to Lake’s most recent call. According to the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, the state has become “ground zero” for the so-called “constitutional sheriffs movement,” whose members are already accustomed to selectively enforcing laws.

According to ACIR, the movement, which has gained support from more than half of the state’s sheriffs, is based on “a radical ideology that the sheriff’s power within his or her county is superseded by no state or federal government entity but is guided by the sheriff’s interpretation of the United States Constitution.” Nullification, or refusing to enforce laws or regulations that a sheriff believes are illegal, is an essential component of the worldview.”

Earlier this week, Trump associates Mike Flynn, Patrick Byrne, and Mike Lindell spoke at a training event hosted by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association in Las Vegas.

At the same occasion, Lake warned the audience, “They’re going to come after us with everything.” That’s why the next six months will be intense.” She went on to say that supporters would need to “strap on” a “seatbelt,” a “helmet,” and “the armor of God,” adding, “And maybe strap on a Glock on the side of us just in case.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *