Project 2025 partners celebrate Arizona court ruling that almost totally bans abortion in the state

Anti-abortion groups that could hold significant sway under a potential second Donald Trump administration applauded the decision

Top figures and organizations associated with Project 2025, a sweeping initiative to provide policy and staffing proposals for a second Trump administration, have endorsed or supported a ruling issued Tuesday by the Arizona State Supreme Court that all but bans abortion in the state.

The April 9 decision determined that an 1864 law that predates Arizona statehood is enforceable, although it is currently on hold pending further review from a lower court. The law makes abortion a felony offense punishable by two to five years in prison for physicians who perform an abortion or those who assist in the process. The only exception is when the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant person’s life.

Project 2025 is an extreme right-wing plan to drastically reshape the federal government organized by The Heritage Foundation and a coalition of over 100 conservative organizations — many of which explicitly advocate for severe restrictions on abortion rights and reproductive autonomy more broadly, including in vitro fertilization and surrogacy.

Following the Arizona ruling, several groups associated with Project 2025 celebrated the possible near-total elimination of abortion access in the state.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion organization that is a member of Project 2025’s advisory board, argued for the reinstatement of the 1864 law before the court.

“We celebrate the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision that allows the state’s pro-life law to again protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children,” said ADF senior counsel Jake Warner, who argued the case.

The ADF’s official account on X (formerly Twitter) celebrated the ruling using nearly identical language and reposted an article from with the headline “BREAKING: Arizona Supreme Court Rules State Can Enforce Abortion Ban, Protect Babies From Abortions.”

Breaking: The AZ Supreme Court just ruled to uphold the state's pro-life law. This is a significant ruling that will protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children.

Citation From the official X account of the Alliance Defending Freedom, accessed April 10, 2024

ADF president and CEO Kristen Waggoner responded to Biden administration spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre’s criticism of the ruling,” writing:“The Biden admin has made it clear: it will pursue abortion even at the cost of protecting women and children. AZ’s law upholds a perpetual truth: life is a human right. States have a right and duty to protect it. That’s exactly what today’s ruling affirms.”

Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, another member of Project 2025’s advisory board, also released a statement endorsing the Arizona ruling.

“We celebrate this enormous victory for unborn children and their mothers,” said SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser, adding, “Today’s state Supreme Court decision is a major advancement in the fight for life in Arizona.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Project 2025 member group Students for Life, posted a link to her organization’s statement celebrating the ruling.

VICTORY: The Arizona Supreme Court CHOSE LIFE!  This Pro-Life Ruling in Arizona Is Only the Beginning – Abortion WILL Be on The Ballot in November

Citation From the X account of Kristan Hawkins, accessed April 10, 2024

The decision was “a fantastic, but possibly temporary win for preborn babies and mothers – the real fight remains on the horizon in November when unlimited abortion will be on the ballot,” Students for Life Action Vice President of Political Affairs Chanel Prunier said in the statement.

Hawkins also criticized responses to the ruling from former President Donald Trump and Republican candidate Kari Lake, who is running for the Senate in Arizona, for being insufficiently anti-abortion. In her statement, Lake claimed she opposed the court’s ruling, despite previously referring to the near-total ban as a “great law.”

Other anti-abortion Project 2025 partners weighed in on social media as well.

Right-wing advocacy organization the California Family Council reposted a comment from anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who wrote that pro-choice advocates “weaponize the law to promote killing babies delivered alive to sell their body parts.”

Penny Nance, the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, reposted a comment about the Arizona ruling from a Daily Wire writer that read: “Major win for the most basic level of morality—thou shalt not kill.”

Charlie Kirk, the Arizona-based founder and CEO of right-wing activist organization Turning Point USA, appeared to hedge on the ruling during his daily podcast and in a post online. He said the decision “should have been met with celebration,” but added caveats elsewhere in his discussion of the subject.

“This ruling was likely the correct one, but it still puts us in a very tough spot,” Kirk said during his show on Wednesday.

“In some way, it's a proper ruling at an improper time,” Kirk added.

Those comments elaborated on his take from a day earlier, when he celebrated the decision while acknowledging that it likely goes against the will of most Arizonans.

“Getting rid of abortion is an irrefutable, necessary, moral good for society & Arizona,” Kirk posted on X. “Praise God we get to be in the fight for the unborn during such a time as this.”

“However, like all major moral fights in US history, they come with a potential political cost. It is likely that the majority of Arizonans wont like this decision,” he continued, adding that the “best path is likely for the AZ leg to throw this back to the voters in November.”

One of Kirk’s top lieutenants was much clearer in his endorsement of the ruling. Arizona state Rep. Austin Smith, who is also a senior director at Turning Point Action, posted a statement from the Arizona Freedom Caucus celebrating the decision. (Smith serves in a leadership role in the caucus.)

“I am pro-life from conception to natural death. Thankful for my @AZFreedomCaucus colleagues who feel the same,” Smith wrote, in addition to the official statement. “We will continue to lead the way and be unabashedly in favor of supporting both the mother and the unborn child."

Turning Point Action reposted Smith’s comment.

I am pro-life from conception to natural death.   Thankful for my  @AZFreedomCaucus  colleagues who feel the same.  We will continue to lead the way and be unabashedly in favor of supporting both the mother and the unborn child.

Citation From the official X account of Turning Point Action, accessed April 10, 2024

One day before the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling, Trump continued to obfuscate his position on abortion, garnering headlines that downplayed the likelihood that he would sign a national abortion ban or other extreme federal legislation.  

The Arizona ruling and the threat of a second Trump term have added extra urgency to an attempt by state abortion rights activists to get a measure on the ballot in November that would enshrine legal protections for the procedure at up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.