Arizona Freedom Caucus Leader Slams Republicans ‘Calculated Political Decision-Making’ Following Abortion Ruling

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on April 11, 2024

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: The head of the Arizona Freedom Caucus condemned the “calculated political decision-making” exhibited by Arizona Republicans who sought to distance themselves from the state’s most massive pro-life victory yet.

Some high-profile Arizona Republicans had decried news on Tuesday that the state’s Supreme Court had upheld an 1864 law protecting almost all unborn babies in the state, except when the mother’s life is at risk.

Senate candidate Kari Lake, former Gov. Doug Ducey, Rep. David Schweikert, and Rep. Juan Ciscomani, were among the Republicans who condemned the news and suggested that pro-abortion legislation was needed to rectify the situation.

But the Arizona Freedom Caucus, led by Arizona state Sen. Jake Hoffman, came out swinging on Tuesday evening, declaring in a statement that the court “upheld the intent of the legislature, and preserved the rule of law” by “ruling that the pre-Roe law will remain effective.”

“We will not compromise on the core value of cherishing and protecting life,” the statement said. Numerous members of the state’s Freedom Caucus promoted the post on “X” and voiced their support.

“This is why I am proud to be a member of the AFC,” said state Rep. Rachel Jones, and state Rep. Austin Smith chimed in, “We will continue to lead the way and be unabashedly in favor of supporting both the mother and the unborn child.”

In a phone interview with The Daily Signal on Wednesday, Hoffman emphasized that life is not an issue Republicans should be willing to compromise on.

“We should be resolute in our convictions and in our principles and in our party platform, to be willing to make the case that we cherish life, and that we are going to do everything we can to protect it,” said the Arizona Freedom Caucus chair.

This respect for life should include caring for mothers and families as well, he said.

“What the Arizona Freedom Caucus saw, is this calculated political decision-making yesterday, with people diving for the bushes and effectively abandoning everything that they claim to believe in for the last decade, two decades, three decades in some cases,” he said.

“We just don’t believe that’s how we should operate in this environment that is truly a battle between good and evil. So our statement was simply based on our convictions, and it certainly did send a warning flare up into the sky for those who were hiding in the bushes that no, we need to stand and unabashedly for protecting life and for our principles,” Hoffman added.

Though Arizona has a law protecting unborn babies after 15 weeks, Arizona’s pro-abortion, Democrat governor Katie Hobbs signed an executive order in 2023 giving the state’s Democrat attorney general the power to enforce abortion laws. That attorney general, Kris Mayes, promised not to enforce any protections for the unborn and to “fight like hell” to protect abortions in the state.

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Hoffman described Arizona Democrats as supportive of “ripping children apart, limb by limb, in the womb” and working actively to “normalize abortion” and create a “culture of abortion on demand until the moment of birth.”

“This is deeply embedded in Democrat culture,” he said, speculating that some of the reactions from Arizona Republicans on Tuesday may have been a reaction to the energy of the massive abortion messaging machine that is Democratic leadership.

On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump weighed in on the Arizona ruling, asked by reporters if the ruling went too far.

“Yeah they did, and that will be straightened out,” he said.

“As you know, it’s all about states’ rights,” he added. He also said he thinks Hobbs will “bring it back into reason.”

The former president also made an announcement on Monday that he believes each state should follow “the will of the people” and pass state-specific laws on abortion. He also said he supports “exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land, in this case, the law of the state,” Trump said in a video posted Monday morning on Truth Social.

“This 50-year battle over Roe v. Wade took it out of the federal hands and brought it into the hearts, minds, and vote of the people at each state,” Trump added. “Now it’s up to the states to do the right thing.”

The former president encouraged Americans to “follow” their “hearts on this issue” but to remember that “you must also win elections to restore our culture and in fact to save our country, which is currently and very sadly a nation in decline.”

Virginia Allen contributed to this report.


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