As support for abortion even in states as red as Kentucky and Kansas grows, the GOP appears to be breaking ranks with the hardliners

In the two years since the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade, the 50-year-long partnership between Republicans and anti-abortion activists has steadily fractured as political backlash to abortion bans has mounted. But perhaps the biggest crack emerged on Wednesday, when Arizona’s Republican-controlled state legislature moved to repeal the state’s 1864 near-total abortion ban.

After days of national outcry over an Arizona supreme court ruling that upheld the 1864 ban, passed before Arizona became a state, three Republicans in the state house broke ranks to vote with Democrats to support a repeal. Last week, two Republicans in the state senate also voted with Democrats to advance a similar repeal. As long as those Republican votes hold firm, Democrats will likely send the repeal to Arizona’s Democratic governor in May.

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