Katie Hobbs
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs AFP

Arizona's Democratic Governor, Katie Hobbs, signed on Thursday a bill to repeal the 1864 law that banned practically all abortions in the state.

The signature took place just a day after the state Senate approved the repeal, but the measure may not go into effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session in June or July. According to The Associated Press, advocates hope courts can expedite this process.

The 1864 law, which predated Arizona's statehood, banned abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and only allowed the procedure if the mother's life was in danger.

The Arizona Supreme Court approved the law's enforcement last month and determined that anyone who assisted in one could be sentenced to between two and five years in prison.

Hobbs said that the ban was passed by "27 men before Arizona was even a state, at a time when America was at war about the right to own slaves."

The repeal means Arizona will go back to allowing abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Democrats, both at the state and national level, have sought to take advantage of the issue at a political level to galvanize voters, also taking steps to enshrine abortion rights in state constitutions in the November elections.

Advocates in Arizona recently claimed to have gathered enough signatures to put abortion rights on the ballot, an initiative that has so far proven to always be winning at the voting booth.

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