Roe v. Wade's impact in Arizona

·4 min read

It's Wednesday and here's the Valley 101 newsletter to catch you up on local news.

The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday sent reverberations across the country and in our communities. The Arizona Republic's local reporters spread out around the Valley to hear what people were saying.

Reporter Maritza Dominguez caught up with Judy Drayer and Anisa Gracanin outside the Nile Theater in Mesa. Drayer said she woke up with other plans, but then she saw the news. The 57-year-old said she had never protested before, but she went straight to the store and bought supplies. The pair made their signs in the car.

"The shock and how personal this is as a woman to have my rights stripped away from me with no say, this is all I could think of to do," Drayer said.

Anisa Gracanin (left) and Judy Drayer (right) walk the streets of downtown Mesa to protest the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.
Anisa Gracanin (left) and Judy Drayer (right) walk the streets of downtown Mesa to protest the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.

The Republic's Sasha Hupka spoke with Christine Accurso, practice manager at Morningstar OB/GYN in Gilbert, who had a very different reaction.

"I just am so glad that women and children in our country, especially in Arizona, are finally seen as human beings that can be cared for and brought to life in this world. It’s just a beautiful thing," Accurso said.

She and her family planned to head to church Friday evening. "We will be worshipping God and giving thanks to him because this is really his victory," she said.

Knowing the decision was expected, some businesses had plans in place to offer travel stipends to employees living in states that ban abortions, The Republic's Corina Vanek reported.

"We’re deeply concerned by the recent changes that limit reproductive rights,” officials at Tempe-based GoDaddy said. “Limiting these rights impacts the ability for people to pursue success on their own terms."

The Republic's Ray Stern, who covers the state Legislature, has tried to help sort through exactly how Arizona law comes down on abortions. He laid out that the question is which law initially is in effect: a 158-year-old law that bans abortion and calls for mandatory prison sentences for violators or one passed this legislative session that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother.

A law passed last year that grants fetuses the same rights as other children also adds a layer of complexity. Ray followed up Tuesday with comments from Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, but the bottom line appears to be: courts are going to have to figure this out.

— Carrie Watters, city and county editor for The Arizona Republic/

Give it a listen

Title IX, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools, was passed 50 years ago this month.

The law held that no one can be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex under “any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Sports weren't specifically mentioned, but Title IX changed the landscape for women's athletics. This week's Valley 101 podcast looks at what it meant in Arizona. Listen here or on your favorite podcasting app.

Do you have a question about The Valley? Send it to the podcasting team here

In our communities

Look for Q & As with candidates

Early ballots for the Aug. 2 election are going out July 6. We've asked questions of candidates on pressing topics from water to housing affordability and will publish those responses early next week. Until then, here's who is running in municipalities across the Valley.

P.S. Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote i the Aug. 2 election.

Metrocenter still stands — for now

Metrocenter, once billed as the largest mall in the Southwest, will be razed by the end of the year. The shuttered mall site off I-17 and Dunlap Avenue in Phoenix will become apartments, open space, hotels, shops and restaurants. While the movie theater at the mall will come down, developers plan to rebuild it.

To reach city team reporters:

Today in the archives

June 29, 1994
June 29, 1994

Before 1994, Phoenix bus riders would have fish out coins from their pockets or wallets to pay for their fare. On this day 28 years ago, The Republic reported that Phoenix would begin to accept payment with a bank card to make it more accessible to riders. It was meant to increase ridership. Two decades later, cities across the Valley continue to find new methods of public transportation including an on-demand service coming later this year.

— Maritza Dominguez

What's coming up?

  • July 4th celebrations: Many of us should have a long weekend to celebrate July Fourth on Monday. The Republic's Jill Cassidy fills us in on great options around the Valley, from tubing on the river to where to catch fireworks.

  • What we've been doing lately: I'm just starting a short vacation, so writing this and wrapping up editing our candidate Q & As by the pool. Back next week. Happy 4th!

Journalism mailbag

Have a question about journalism at The Republic and Email me at I'd also like to hear what you think needs attention in our communities. This newsletter is a two-way street for conversation.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Valley 101 newsletter shares podcasts and stories about metro Phoenix