Arizona Ruling Spurs Strong Reactions, but Election Impact Is Unclear

Pam Raphael pulled up to the Arizona State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon bearing ice-cold treats and red-hot anger. She had come to deliver an order of her frozen prickly pear and lime pops but was preoccupied by a just-released decision by Arizona’s highest court that upheld an 1864 law banning nearly all abortions.

“I am disgusted,” Ms. Raphael, 50, said as she walked toward a rally by Democrats railing against the decision. She added that it’s “nobody’s business” whether any woman decides to get an abortion.

The decision upending abortion care in a critically important battleground state inspired passionate reactions from Arizonans across the political divide, ranging from elation to disgust.

Some conservative voters and the state’s most ardent critics of abortion hailed it as a victory for women. Many Democrats, moderate independents and some Republicans said the Arizona Supreme Court had gone too far. But it was far from clear Tuesday that the decision would tip the balance in the November presidential election.

The critics said that the court, in resurrecting the 160-year-old law that bans all abortions except to save the mother’s life, was forcing a 19th-century morality onto a fast-growing state that is trying to sell itself as a hub of renewable energy, battery manufacturing and live-and-let-live tolerance.

“Leave it up to the female,” said Maverick Williams, 25, a retail manager who was walking his dog in the conservative Anthem neighborhood on the northern edge of Phoenix. “It’s her body, then she needs to decide.”

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