In what seems to be an attempt by Republicans to “regain control” in the nation, we’re seeing more anti-abortion laws coming into play. The latest is the set of sweeping laws presented in Senate Bill 1457 in Arizona, signed by Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, despite attorneys and OB-GYNS warning against these new laws as “medically unsound” and unconstitutional.
What The New Bill Does
The new bill affects abortion laws in the state on many fronts.
- Genetic conditions of the fetus must be deemed medically “lethal” before an abortion may be performed. If any abortions on non-lethal genetic conditions are performed, the practitioners face prison time.
- Civil rights for fetuses at any stage of development are also applied, save for embryos created via in vitro fertilization.
- Mailing and delivery of abortion-inducing drugs – including those used for managing miscarriages – are acts now met with criminal charges.
- Fetal remains from any abortions must be buried or cremated.
- New requirements on reporting about abortions have been placed on medical facilities.
- Public educational institutes are now prohibited from performing abortions unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
- No public money may be spent to support research abortion advancement, treatment, or embryo transfers.
Governor Ducey stated, “There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup. We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives.” The Governor’s office added in a news release, “With this legislation, Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation.”
Support For The Bill
Ducey has described himself as “proudly pro-life” and has never vetoed any abortion restricting measures in the state. He’s received support from many religious and community leaders, including Cathi Herrod, director of the Center for Arizona Policy, who thanked both Ducey and the bill sponsor Senator Nancy Barto, Republican of Phoenix, for “standing for preborn children and their mothers” in her statement.
Bishops from the Arizona Catholic Conference shared their praise as well, saying that the bill “establishes that Arizona’s laws will be interpreted in the context of valuing all human life” and “looks forward to the day that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Arizona already has a statute on the books protecting human life from the moment of conception, and SB 1457 leaves this excellent statute in place while also not making the mother a criminal.”
Opposition For The Bill
The opposition has been strong, however, from others like American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona director Darrell Hill. In a statement, he expressed his disappointment, “that Gov. Ducey went against the will of thousands of Arizonans who asked him to veto SB 1457″ and deemed the bill unconstitutional. “SB 1457 will undoubtedly have unintended consequences for people who experience pregnancy loss of any kind and will force people to carry pregnancies to term against their will,” he added.
Progress Arizona stated that the law puts physicians “in an incredibly difficult position, as they could receive a felony for providing basic health care. We look forward to the litigation that will follow today’s signature.”