UPDATE, 3/30/22: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed Senate Bill 1164 into law. According to Reuters, Ducey noted in a letter, “In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life – including preborn life. I believe it is each state’s responsibility to protect them.” The law is likely to go into effect by late summer unless enjoined by the courts.
3/24/22: On Thursday, Arizona lawmakers in the House passed legislation that limits abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The vote, which fell along party lines, follows last month’s approval by the Senate, making Arizona the second state this year — after Florida — to pass a prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks.
Senate Bill 1164 prohibits all abortions after 15 weeks gestation — including those resulting from rape or incest — but it contains an exception for the life of the mother. Despite this, it is never medically necessary to intentionally kill a preborn child. If the mother’s life is truly in danger during the second trimester, doctors can quickly perform an emergency c-section in less than an hour. In contrast, a second-trimester D&E abortion takes 24-48 hours due to the size of the preborn baby.
While there is no guarantee that children born this young can survive, every medical attention can be given for the child’s well-being and hopeful survival, while at the same time doing what’s best for the health of the mother. This is different than abortion, which is always the intentional ending of a human life.
As Live Action News previously reported, it is estimated that should this legislation become law, it could save the lives of approximately 900 preborn children each year.
Planned Parenthood has already spoken out against the legislation, calling it “cruel.”
READ: What does a 15-week-old human being in the womb look like?
“Let’s be crystal clear: The 15-week ban passed today will harm Arizonans and their families,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund in a statement. “This cruel legislation will deny timely health care for people who need it, and will disproportionately harm already marginalized communities who face systemic barriers to accessing health care in the state.”
But Sen. Nancy Barto (R), the bill’s chief sponsor, said during the Senate debate last month, “The baby inside of a woman is a separate life and needs to be protected,” adding, “All life is sacred.”
According to the Associated Press, the bill closely mirrors Mississippi’s 15-week abortion restriction, which is being considered by the Supreme Court in the landmark case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The pro-life community hopes that in its ruling, the court will overturn Roe v. Wade, which may change the face of the abortion landscape in America altogether. Arizona lawmakers included a provision in their 15-week legislation noting that it would not supersede existing state law that outlaws abortion entirely should the Supreme Court overturn Roe.
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Doug Ducey, who is expected to sign it.
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