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Today's newsletter is 950 words — a 3.6-minute read.

1 big thing: Abortion stalemate continues

Arizona residents rally for abortion rights on Tuesday in Phoenix. Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Arizona Senate took a concrete step toward repealing the state's pre-Roe abortion ban yesterday, but House Republicans continued to block similar efforts, leaving the fate of the 1864 law in question.

The big picture: The razor-thin margins — 30-30 in the House and 16-14 in the Senate — illustrate the tensions over the issue since the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated the pre-Roe ban last week.

  • In total, three Republicans in competitive districts joined Democrats to support repeal.
  • Attention now turns back to the state House, where the Republican speaker has vowed to continue to stymie the effort.

Driving the news: The soonest the Senate could take a final vote on the bill is in two weeks due to legislative procedures, the Senate Republicans' communications director, Kim Quintero, told reporters.

  • It would also take the House at least another two weeks to give the bill final approval because both chambers are only meeting once a week. They will reconvene next Wednesday.

Yes, but: House Speaker Ben Toma tells Axios he'll continue to block his chamber from voting on the bill if the Senate passes, just as he and most Republicans have now done twice.

  • "Quite frankly, I don't know how it's different," he says.

Reality check: Even if it were to pass, without supermajorities the repeal wouldn't go into effect until 90 days after the session ends — which has no fixed date. Last year's session, the longest in state history, lasted through July.

The intrigue: Rep. Matt Gress (R-Phoenix), the only House Republican to publicly support repeal, said he believes others will join him if it goes up for a vote. Only one more Republican is needed

  • But it's unclear whether others would go as far as overriding Toma, even if they support repeal.

Zoom in: Rep. Tim Dunn (R-Yuma), one of two other House Republicans who were heavily pressured yesterday to support repeal, told Axios he thinks the ban should be nixed.

  • But he wouldn't say whether he's willing to override Toma. He said he's committed to "continued conversations" with his caucus this week.

What's next: A citizen initiative to enshrine abortion rights in the state Constitution is expected to be on the November ballot.

Go deeper

2. Doctors say they won't perform illegal abortions

DeShawn Taylor at a Women's March rally in Phoenix on Jan. 20. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attorney General Kris Mayes' promise that she won't prosecute doctors for violating the soon-enforceable abortion ban likely isn't enough to persuade them to break the law, Arizona abortion providers tell Axios Phoenix.

Why it matters: Even with potential legislative and legal interventions, the 1864 near-total abortion ban will likely be the law of the land for at least a few months in Arizona.

Catch up quick: Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order last year barring Arizona's 15 county attorneys from prosecuting abortion-related crimes and centralizing that authority under the attorney general's office.

  • Mayes has said she will not prosecute doctors who perform abortions.

Reality check: "I have no intention to break an established law just because an attorney says they're not going to prosecute," Ronald Yunis, a physician at Acacia Women's Center, tells Axios Phoenix.

  • Yunis notes that a new attorney general could be elected in two years and decide to retroactively prosecute.

Zoom in: DeShawn Taylor, a physician at Desert Star Institute for Family Planning, tells us she is appreciative of Mayes' efforts but is working with her board to decide whether it's wise to continue offering abortion care.

  • "Each of us providers will have to make a determination as to whether or not that is a risk we're willing to take," Taylor says.

What we're watching: The 1864 law specifies that anyone who acts "with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage" shall be imprisoned.

  • Yunis says he fears that he could be prosecuted under the broad language just by advising a patient to travel to seek abortion care.

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3. 💰 WNBA salary gap, quantified

Data: Spotrac; Chart: Axios Visuals

Phoenix Mercury All-Star wing Kahleah Copper is the highest paid athlete on her team, with an average annual salary of about $245,000. Compare her to Suns superstar Kevin Durant, who has an average annual salary of $48.6 million.

The big picture: Sports, like most industries, has a gender pay gap.

  • Caitlin Clark was the No. 1 pick at Monday's WNBA draft. Her record-breaking NCAA performance created more interest in women's basketball.
  • But Clark's base salary for her rookie season is $76,535. In the NBA, the first draft pick's base salary could be as high as $10.5 million, Vox reports.

Stunning stat: Clark's entire WNBA team combined will get paid about the same as one random back-bench NBA player next year.

Context: The NBA brings in more than $10 billion in revenue annually, while the WNBA's projected total revenue in 2023 was about $200 million.

What's next

4. Chips & salsa: Bob Marley legacy tour

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

📺 A group linked to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is running TV ads against U.S. Rep. Eli Crane, one of the eight Republicans who triggered his ouster. (AZcentral)

🚗 A new program at the Arizona Department of Transportation helps autistic drivers communicate with law enforcement during traffic stops. (Arizona's Family)

🇯🇲 Bob Marley's sons will perform Sept. 12 at Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre to honor their father's legacy, their first tour together in nearly 20 years. (Phoenix New Times)

ğŸŒž The Corporation Commission will reconsider its February vote to increase rates for APS solar customers. (KJZZ)

5. 👋 Pic du jour: Coyotes' last desert howl

The Coyotes salute their fans last night in what was expected to be the team's final game in Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It was an emotional night for the Arizona Coyotes and their fans as the team played what's expected to be its final game in the Valley before relocating to Salt Lake City.

  • The Coyotes saluted the fans after giving them a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

☢ Jeremy watched the two episodes of "Fallout" and likes what he's seen so far.

ğŸž Jessica is enjoying the sourdough sandwich loaf she bought from Proof.

This newsletter was edited by Emma Hurt and copy edited by Jay Bennett.

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