Abortion Laws May Tighten in Arizona
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A state senator wants to erect more hurdles in the path of women who want an abortion.
Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said Tuesday his goal to use the law to persuade women to decide against an abortion, even as he acknowledged Arizona already has fairly substantial laws requiring that women give “informed consent” before terminating a pregnancy.
Existing requirements include a discussion of the risks, a 24-hour waiting period and offering to let the woman see an ultrasound of the fetus.
His legislation hammers that point home with a requirement that a woman be told, at least 24 hours in advance, that the abortion “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” And a pregnant woman also would have to be informed she “has an existing relationship with that unborn human being” which is protected by the U.S. Constitution and state laws.
Less clear is how a law defining life as beginning at conception might affect the legal use of the “morning-after pill.”
One theory is that the pill, essentially a large dose of hormones, prevents a woman from ovulating. Smith said he subscribes to an alternate theory that the hormones prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
“This bill was not written for that,” he said. “It’s written for your typical walking-into-an-abortion-clinic case.”
The first-term lawmaker said if it were up to him, all abortions would be illegal.
“I guess I’m a purist,” he said, attributing his reasons to his religious beliefs.
“God doesn’t make mistakes,” he said. “I believe that God is still on the throne and that’s happening for a reason, whether we get it or not.”
Besides defining life, SB 1494 adds to the list of things prospective abortion patients are to be told ahead of time, which now include “immediate and long-term medical risks,” the probable gestational age of the unborn child as well as its “probable anatomical and physiological characteristics.”
The new requirements include specific warnings of depression and related psychological distress, the risk of infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies and infertility.
If they included a requirement to inform the woman of the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term, abortion rates would increase.
Smith wants to persuade women with lies about abortions, until he can just forbid them the option entirely.