Arizona Takes the Fight to Abortion Laws

On Tuesday, the Arizona state legislature approved a measure prohibiting abortions beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy in the state.

Meanwhile, the United States Supreme Court reviews similar Mississippi legislation in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Agency.

All the Details

Senate Bill 1164, proposed by Republican state Senator Nancy Barto, was approved by a vote of 16-13. The bill will now be heard in the House of Representatives of the government.

The legislation is likely to pass the state House, which is also controlled by Republicans. GOP Gov. Doug Ducey is anticipated to sign it into law.

During the meeting, Barto stated, “The state has a commitment to preserve life, and that is what this legislation is about.”

“In the womb, a 15-week-old infant has a completely formed nose, mouth, and eyelids, and they suckle their thumbs. They’re in anguish. That is the purpose of this bill.”

“I feel our Constitution specifically stands for life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, and the first element of that is life,” Barto continued.

Physicians in Arizona who conduct the surgery after 15 weeks might face a Class 6 felony charge; their medical credentials could be revoked or suspended.

Medical crises that worsen “the medical state of a pregnant mother to compel the urgent abortion of her gestation to avoid her death or whereby a delay will cause a considerable danger of significant and permanent damage of a major bodily function” are excluded.

Rape and incest are not directly included in the bill. Family Planning, an abortion provider, was not thrilled with the bill’s passage in the Senate.

In a release, CEO of Family Planning Arizona Brittany Fonteno said, “Arizona legislators are betting on the Supreme Court sustaining Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban so they can rapidly strip Arizonians of their privileges and begin implementation.”

Several counties have filed bills similar to Mississippi’s in the last year, including Texas, which enacted a harsher prohibition that is also the subject of a Supreme Court dispute.

Florida Joins the Fight

On Wednesday, the Florida legislature decided to move forward with a plan that would prohibit abortions beyond 15 weeks.

The law was passed by the state legislature by a vote of 78-39, split along party lines. The law will now be sent to the state legislature, which is likely to pass it soon, according to The Hill.

Florida Conservative Gov. Ron DeSantis stated if the legislation gets passed, he will sign it.

On Tuesday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a 15-week abortion restriction. A companion law that would prohibit the selling of baby body parts obtained from abortion in the state was also passed by the House.

As per the Associated Press, West Virginia Conservative Del. Adam Burkhammer said, “If it were up to me, we would ban it altogether. That’s not the legislation in front of us, but we’re moving in the right direction.”