Arizona Senators Just Approved a Controversial Abortion Law

February 26th 2017

Thor Benson

On Wednesday, Arizona's Senate approved a bill that might reduce abortion access in the state by imposing new, stringent requirements on abortion providers, according to Rewire. The bill would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to carry out a live birth if a very late abortion results in one, which is exceeding rare.

The bill calls for hospitals and clinics who perform abortions at 20 weeks or beyond to have the proper equipment to save a fetus delivered alive, as well as the presence of a neonatologist during all procedures performed at that stage. A conservative organization called Center for Arizona Policy backed the bill.

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“In Arizona, the vast majority of terminations are provided before 20 weeks, and the ones after 20 weeks are performed overwhelmingly in cases of fetal anomalies,” Dr. Julie Kwatra, legislative chair of the Arizona chapter of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Rewire. “What [the bill] really does is put doctors at terrible liability for doing their job.”

Pro-life bills have been gaining momentum.

The bill will likely become law, as it passed 18-12 Arizona's state senate. It has pro-choice activists concerned, because it resembles abortion laws passed in Texas that severely restricted abortion access.

As ATTN: has reported in the past, laws in Texas that required abortion clinics to meet expensive and seemingly unnecessary building guidelines caused women to have to drive hundreds of miles to get the procedure after their local clinics closed. This caused thousands of Texas women to try to induce abortions on their own — some 2015 data estimates that it was between 100,000 to 240,00 women — which is obviously dangerous.

"Once again politicians are placing their ideological beliefs ahead of the expertise of medical professionals in an effort to limit access to abortion," Renee Bracey Sherman, senior public affairs manager at the National Network of Abortion Funds, told ATTN:. "The Supreme Court ruled in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt that many of the laws states have tried to enact were designed to shut down abortion clinics unconstitutionally, and again politicians are trying to be deceptive and creative by creating TRAP laws to limit access to abortion." TRAP stands for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, which refers to laws aimed at restricting abortion access.

Hundreds of abortion restrictions were proposed by lawmakers across the country last year, and many see them as the GOP's first step toward creating abortion bans by making it impossible for doctors to perform them.