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Sinema among bipartisan Senators who want to restore federal abortion rights

Kyrsten Sinema
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., flanked by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., left, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to reporters following Senate passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is among a group of bipartisan lawmakers who’ve reintroduced a bill to codify Roe v. Wade into law. It comes nearly eight months after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision from 1973.

The Reproductive Freedom for All Act would enshrine the core protections of Roe into federal law and prevent states from banning abortions. It would also guarantee access to contraceptives and include other reproductive rights. The bill aims to undo last summer’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe after it had been precedent for nearly a half-century.

The bill is sponsored by Sinema, who’s an independent, along with Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine as well as Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine. They first introduced the legislation about a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe and say reproductive rights in several states have since eroded creating life-threatening delays in care and longer travel times for those seeking abortion access.

“A woman’s health care decisions should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Our bipartisan legislation protects the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across the country by ensuring all women have the ability to make their own decisions about their futures—no matter where they live,” said Sinema in a statement.

In Arizona, state law bans the procedure after 15 weeks. The Arizona Court of Appeals last year ruled doctors can’t be prosecuted under a near-total abortion ban from 1864. However, they can face criminal penalties under a law passed in 2021 prohibiting doctors from performing abortions based on genetic abnormalities.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.