PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed an anti-abortion law banning the procedure if a woman seeks it only because a fetus has a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome.
Doctors who perform an abortion just because the child has a genetic problem that can survive can be charged with a felony. The proposal also contains a number of other provisions requested by opponents of abortion.
The measure passed the Republican-controlled Arizona legislature by online party votes on the unanimous opposition of minority Democrats. The Republican governor is an opponent of abortion who has never vetoed anti-abortion legislation.
The 1457 Senate bill moved through the legislature in a tight manner, stopping twice before moving again amid intense pressure from opponents of abortion on Republican Party lawmakers who s ‘opposed to some of its provisions. Finally, he passed both chambers last week.
The abortion bill, as originally written, turned the crime into a medical procedure for the fetus to present a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome and contained a number of other provisions, including one that confers all rights. civilians to unborn children. Democrats call this provision of “personality” a form of back door to allow criminal charges against a woman who aborts.
In addition to the ban on abortions due to genetic abnormalities and the provision on “personality”, the bill prohibits the mailing of drugs that cause abortion, allows to sue the father or maternal grandparents of a fetus due of a genetic problem and prohibits the spending of any state money on organizations that provide care for abortion.
The measure also requires burying or cremating fetal remains and prohibits state universities from providing care for abortion.
“There is immeasurable value in every life, regardless of genetic makeup,” Ducey said in a statement. “We will continue to prioritize protecting the lives of our children before they are born, and this legislation helps a lot in protecting real human lives.”
The bill was amended twice to dispel the concerns of a Republican couple: one worried that a woman would be forced to carry a fetus that could not survive and a second, that a doctor’s medical decisions would be annulled by a jury. This amendment supported by the Republican Party also clarified that the provision on “personality” does not prohibit in vitro fertilization.
Democrats issued a lengthy written rebuttal to the bill after the final amendment.
The measure was a top priority for the conservative social group Center for Arizona Policy. Its president, Cathi Herrod, routinely supports anti-abortion bills in the legislature. National anti-abortion groups hailed his move.
Minutes after the governor acted, Herrod sent a statement with the subject “Life wins!”
“Arizona people win today. Arizona children diagnosed with disability before birth will no longer be discriminated against,” Herrod wrote in the statement. “Arizona women will be guaranteed common sense guarantees if they choose the abortion pill. Arizona taxpayers will not be forced to support abortions in public colleges and universities and Arizona laws ‘they will interpret to value all human life.’
On Monday, abortion advocacy groups had gathered at the Capitol, urging Ducey to veto the measure and present petitions signed by opponents of the bill.
Democrats lamented the governor’s action, including Rep. Diego Espinoza de Tolleson.
“The Ducey government’s decision to sign SB1457 is not in favor of life. It is anti-family, anti-woman and anti-medical,” Espinoza tweeted. “I am disappointed to see Arizona move in that direction, ignoring the needs and desires of physicians, women, and families for an extreme political agenda.”
Republican-controlled legislatures in Arizona and several other states, encouraged by the possibility that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overthrow Roe vs Wade, the 1973 decision that established that women had a constitutional right to request an abortion – they have accepted this year proposals that could completely ban abortion. An Arizona proposal that does, however, has not advanced.
Earlier this month, a divided federal appellate court withdrew the suspension of a similar Ohio law banning doctors from performing abortions based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
U.S. Court of Appeals judges for the sixth circuit narrowly reversed two previous rulings blocking the implementation of the 2017 Ohio law. Most of the appellate court said the law does not prevent a woman’s right to abortion.
Monday’s amendment to the Arizona bill also added a legislative intent clause that included much of the reasoning the appellate court used in the Ohio decision.