"BOOM. EASY AS THAT." Email accidentally sent to all legislators shows GOP game plan on abortion access.

A presentation deck meant just for House GOP members was sent out to all legislators. In it were the plans to bypass a possible vote in favor of abortion as a constitutional right.

"BOOM. EASY AS THAT." Email accidentally sent to all legislators shows GOP game plan on abortion access.
Protest outside the Capitol at the Phoenix Women's March in 2017. (Chris Vena/Phx Women's March)

A powerpoint deck created by the House GOP's general counsel laid out the potential roadwork for how conservatives could keep a popular ballot measure making abortion a constitutional right from passing. But it wasn't meant for all of us to see.

The powerpoint, first reported by AZCentral, was allegedly supposed to only be sent to the Republican House caucus, but instead was sent to all legislators, according to Laura Dent, political director for Arizona for Abortions Access.

A screenshot from the powerpoint's first page, calling the petition circulating by Arizonans for Abortion Access "radical."

LOOKOUT contacted House spokesperson Andrew Wilder about the validity of the document, but did not get a response back before publishing. He told AZCentral that the email was sent accidentally.

The goal, the leaked presentation says, is to let lawmakers retain control of deciding when someone can obtain an abortion: "MOST IMPORTANT: protects Legislature’s authority to 'enact laws rationally related to promoting and preserving life and to protecting the health and safety of pregnant women'," the deck read.

The powerpoint proposes different ballot measures that could confuse voters into splitting the vote, ensuring that the current abortion ban would stay in effect.

Another screenshot from the presentation deck accidentally sent to legislators from the House general counsel. The slide above shows counsel's "most important" goal is to keep power within the legislature.

The 24-slide deck says the GOP could draft a referral that "does not create a right to abortion," but instead enshrines existing law into the constitution, such as eliminating partial-birth abortions and allowing the father of an aborted fetus to file a civil rights claim against the other parent.

The second phase, according to the document, is to propose a 15-week abortion referral: "In reality, it's 14-week disguised as a 15-week law because it would only allow abortion until the beginning of the 15th week."

The deck also presented the option of sending a "Heartbeat Protection Act" to voters to decide, which would only allow abortions for certain medically necessary reasons, or if the pregnancy was a product of rape or incest.

A screenshot from the presentation labeled "Phase 2," which proposes sending two other ballot referrals in November that could pull votes away from the measure that promotes a constitutional right to abortion. The A

The goal, the presentation said, is to pull votes away from the currently circulated petition to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right, which currently has more than 500,000 signatures, according to Arizonans for Abortion Access, which is organizing signatures for the referral.

Finally, the deck proposes a legislative plan that could bypass the voters if the Arizonans for Abortion Access referral passes in the 2024 general election. It proposed to write in language that the constitutional amendment "shall not be interpreted to prevent the Legislature from reasonably regulating abortion."

The powerpoint ended with a meme of late-night talk show host Seth Meyers saying, "Boom. Easy as that."

Abortions have an outsize effect on the LGBTQ+ community, according to 2022 data released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Citing statistics from the federal 2017-2019 National Survey for Family Growth, the report said 22.8% of lesbian women and 27.2% of bisexual women reported needing an abortion. That is in comparison to 15.4% of exclusively heterosexual women who needed to terminate a pregnancy. 

Data shows LGBTQ+ Arizonans are more at risk with upcoming abortion ban
More than a third of trans people who got pregnant considered unsafe abortion methods, while bisexuals and lesbians experience unwanted pregnancies at higher rates.

The survey was conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Surveyors said elevated rates of forced sexual encounters, sexual abuse, and intimate partner violence among lesbian and bisexual women were factors influencing unintended pregnancies. 

The survey also found that 36% of the pregnant transgender individuals surveyed considered an abortion without help from a doctor; one-fifth of those people followed through with an attempt to do so.

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