Arizona Senate passes bill to ban discriminatory abortions

ultrasound, viability, abortion

The Arizona Senate has passed Senate Bill 1457, which aims to ban abortion in the state based on a genetic health condition such as Down syndrome.

The bill was approved in a vote of 16-14 along party lines on March 4. It would amend the previous law banning abortions based on the sex or race of the baby to included abortions based on the diagnosis of a genetic health condition. Except in cases of a medical emergency, a person who commits an abortion “knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex or race of the child or the race of a parent of that child” or “knowing that the abortion is sought because of a genetic abnormality of the child” is guilty of a class 3 felony.

The bill also states that anyone who uses force or threats of force to coerce a woman into an abortion based on the sex, race, or genetic health condition of a preborn baby is also guilty of a class 3 felony. In addition, any physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, counselor, or medical or mental health professional who knows about an abortion based on sex, race, or genetic diagnosis could face a civil fine of $10,000. The woman herself would not face charges, and the bill would actually repeal laws that punish women for undergoing abortions.

READ: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem proposes Down syndrome abortion ban

Abortion based on a preborn baby’s health diagnosis is an act of eugenics. Aborting a baby based on a disability is not only unethical, it can have lasting unhealthy psychological effects on the mother. A study from Duke University found that women who abort after a prenatal diagnosis deemed “incompatible with life” report “significantly more despair, avoidance, and depression than women who continued the pregnancy.” The same study revealed that women who carry their babies to term report feeling emotionally prepared for their child’s death. These same women said they felt a sense of gratitude and peace surrounding their child’s life.

The bill would also allow the father of the baby (if married to the mother) or the maternal grandparents of the baby to sue for monetary damages for all injuries, including psychological, physical, or financial, on behalf of the preborn child in the event that an abortion is carried out for any of the prohibited reasons.

Along with banning abortions based on sex, race, or genetic condition, the bill would not allow pharmacies to send abortion-inducing drugs through the mail and fetal remains would have to buried or cremated. Punishments in the law for abortionists were left intact in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns or alters the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973.

While opponents of the bill say that it would affect a doctor’s First Amendment rights to provide honest medical advice to their patients, abortion is never medically necessary.

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