Arizona lawmaker Athena Salman resigning, says she will join abortion rights group

State Rep. Athena Salman will resign her seat in the Arizona Legislature at the end of the month to take up a top position at an abortion rights group, she announced Wednesday on social media.

Salman will become the director of Arizona campaigns for the state chapter of Reproductive Freedom For All, a nonprofit political action and advocacy organization formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, I committed to do everything in my power to restore abortion rights in the United States of America," Salman said in a statement. "The right to decide if, when and how to start and grow your family faces the largest threat in generations. We are one bad court decision away from a 160-year-old total ban on abortion being reinstated in Arizona."

Salman, a Democrat, was elected to the Arizona House in 2016. She has represented District 8, which includes parts of Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Democratic precinct committee members will nominate three candidates, who under state law must belong to the same party as the departing lawmaker, to replace Salman.

Athena Salman

Athena Salman

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will then pick one of them to serve out her term, which runs through the end of 2024.