Arizona Legislature Considers Numerous Abortion Restrictions

by Cara on February 28, 2009

in abortion, anti-choice extremism, assholes, legislation, misogyny, paternalism, patriarchy, politics, reproductive justice, Republicans, women’s health

Just as anti-choice, time-wasting nonsense gets cleared up in South Dakota, we find ourselves some more in Arizona.  Indeed, as Miriam and Ann note, anti-choicers seem to be going pretty wild all over the nation.

This particular piece of ugly Arizona legislation would impose a whole ton of restrictions:

Legislation to impose the first new restrictions on abortion since at least 2002 coasted to easy approval Wednesday in the House Committee on Health and Human Services.

Democrats, seeing they were going to be outvoted anyway, walked out, leaving their Republican colleagues to vote 5-0 for HB 2564.

Since 2002, abortion foes have managed to get various measures through the Republican-controlled Legislature only to have each vetoed by Democrat Janet Napolitano.

This bill mandates women be given certain information, in person, about their unborn child and their legal rights if they keep the child. It allows a wide range of medical professionals to refuse to provide abortions, allows medical professionals to refuse to provide the “morning-after” pill, and changes the regulations for minors getting an abortion without parental consent.

The article then goes on to say that there’s also a 24-hour waiting period included in the bill, along with requirements that the woman be told at the start of this period all about prenatal services available to her, as well as “the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics” of the fetus at her particular stage of pregnancy.


(As a side note, what is with calling the fetus an “unborn child” in this article?  Talk about objective reporting!)

Here’s what the bill’s sponsors have to say for themselves:

Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, sponsor of the legislation, said nothing in it will prevent a woman who wants an abortion from getting one. But she said it may reduce the number of abortions if some women have extra time to think about it.

Well, no.  There’s nothing in there at all that would prevent a woman from having an abortion.

Unless you’re a minor whose parents decide to not give you consent, thereby legally forcing you to give birth.  Tough shit, ladies — hey, if you’re underage, I guess you’re not “women” anyway, so Rep. Barto wasn’t talking about you.

There’s also nothing in there to prevent a woman from having an abortion, unless you’re a woman who lives outside of the metropolitan areas where the state’s abortion clinics are located, and you can’t afford to either put yourself up in a hotel room for the night or drive back again the next day, to accommodate that 24-hour waiting period.  Not to mention take time off work, potentially find child care services, and so on.

Seems that Rep. Barto’s definitions of both “woman” and “prevent” are rather limited, wouldn’t you say?

And while there’s, uh, “nothing” in there that would prevent a woman from having an abortion, there is interestingly enough a provision in there that attempts to cause more:

It also would allow these professionals to refuse to provide “morning-after” pills, even to rape victims, with no requirement that they tell a woman where she could get them.

Yeah, because stopping women from preventing an unplanned pregnancy certainly won’t just result in more women stuck in hotel rooms if they’re lucky, their cars if they’re not, waiting out that 24 hours, now will it?  Of course not.  Anti-choicers are all about protecting the babies.  They’d never support policies that only end with more unwanted pregnancies and therefore also the senseless murder of more such precious innocents!

Stay tuned to see how this plays out.

Thanks to Leigh for the link.

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{ 9 comments }

1 KarenElhyam March 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

What’s also tragic about this in my eyes as a current Arizona citizen is this is happening in the same state that just recently cut drastic amounts of state funding away from public school budgets. In other words, the “unborn child” only matters while it’s unborn. As soon as it is born and needs adequate schooling? Fuck it, that’s not the state’s problem anymore.

I am absolutely bailing from this backwards, podunk state as soon as I graduate.

2 Ashley March 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm

All the obvious comments apply, but as a pregnant woman, this:

“the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics” of the fetus at her particular stage of pregnancy”

annoys the crap out of me. Doctors don’t do that when you WANT the pregnancy, but have to do that if you don’t?!?!

3 Leigh March 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Oh I’m so glad to see this! I get the feed from Stateline.org, and I was just forwarding along all the state news on abortion fights and victories, hoping they wouldn’t end up in some spam box!

4 Eric B March 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm

All of my legislators are Democrat, and will be voting against. However, are there any concrete actions that you can suggest that will help? I’m afraid I don’t know of any action I can do to help prevent such a horrific bill.

I’m still annoyed that President Obama took Janet from us!

5 Ms Anon March 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I’m also annoyed that Janet was taken from us. Brewer is a complete waste of air. She always has been as SOS, and even more so now as Gov.

In addition to the school funding cuts that KarenElyham mentioned, Brewer also cut 20% of CPS’s funding. CPS is Child Protective Services. The folks who are supposed to protect kids from abusive parents and other “bad things”. But now they cant, because they are laying off case workers (who were already over-burdened) and forcing those case workers left behind to take furlough days (unpaid days off).

6 AnthroBabe March 3, 2009 at 7:58 pm

The idiots who voted for a mandatory “balanced budget” and the Repugs that campaigned for it are the ones we need to blame for cutting needed services in AZ. I can’t believe that we have to fight anti-abortion forces again and again and again. And it may turn into law here.. Gawd.

7 Annie March 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Ashley:

I’m pregnant too and I would be extremely irritated if my doctor insisted on giving me a play by play of exactly what my fetus was up to, every single time I went for an appointment.

It’s like that scene in Juno where the protestor yells, “your baby has fingernails!” The point is to make women feel ashamed of themselves for “murdering babies.”

8 Anon March 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I’m glad to see others are upset as I am. In addition to making an abortion harder- this legislation could also be read to position common contraceptives as abortion-thereby subjection you ability to get an IUD, or even simple BC pills subject to the 24hour waiting period etc. And certainly , any health care worker would have the right to deny the woman access to an abortion, BC pills, IUDs.
What I am saying is that it is important to realize that this bill goes so far beyond abortions-and adopts some of the most extreme positions of the far right.It invades all our rights to reproductive health care.

9 D Sullivan March 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

It was bad enough years ago when the “abortion hearings” were going on to decide if the state should fund abortions. But to go into doctor/patient privacy, to encourage those doctors who are against abortion (no matter, a doctor should do what his patient wants!) and to interfere in the lives of women of all classes and ethnic backgrounds. Even minors have no rights if they get their way. I would hope that my daughters would come to me if they became pregnant so that we could figure out what to do. But, if they didn’t I would like to know that the state would respect their decision whatever it may be. Hey…at least this applies to blacks, hispanics and whites & minors equally. If you are a woman in Arizona, you are screwed, period! Never mind that the babies that are unwanted, for whatever reason, will probably have a miserable life in foster care, in the junenile court system, etc. Let’s just ignore the basic human right to be able to make decisions about one’s own body, let’s butt into women’s lives that we have no business even thinking about let alone telling them what they can and cannot do. There is no right to privacy or free will here. That’s Arizona for ya!

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