The battle over abortion in the state of Arizona continues, even as the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches in January. In Roe, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case legalized abortion throughout the United States. Roe has always been controversial, and has ignited legal, social and religious passions over the last four decades.
ABORTION LAWS AND POLICIES ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING: Your updates and comments below are gratefully encouraged.
THE STATE OF ABORTION LAW IN ARIZONA
NARAL Pro-Choice America gives Arizona a “D” for its abortion-related laws,” noting among other things, that:
- Arizona’s Governor, Senate and House of Representatives are pro-life;
- Arizona has not repealed its (currently unconstitutional and unenforceable) pre-Roe abortion ban;
- Arizona’s law makes pre-viability abortion after 20 weeks a criminal act, “unless necessary to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the woman,” which does not include psychological or emotional harm;
- Arizona measures gestation based on a woman’s last menstrual period (in contrast to most states that measure post-fertilization), which may effectively ban abortion at 18 weeks.
Americans United for Life (AUL) ranks Arizona #14 in the nation for its abortion-related laws, stating that Arizona continues making “excellent strides” toward the protection of human life, including:
- measures that ban sex- and race-selective abortions;
- prohibiting the use of telemedicine to provide abortion;
- enhancing the state’s prohibition on the use of public funds to subsidize abortion;
- establishing ultrasound requirements prior to abortion; and
- requiring that only physicians prescribe, dispense, or administer prescription medication to induce an abortion.
Abortion Quick Facts For Arizona
Below is a review of Arizona abortion law and a discussion of emerging abortion-related trends in that state.
- Procedure must be performed by a licensed physician
- Procedure must be performed at a hospital once fetus become viable
- Second physician must participate in procedure once fetus becomes viable
- Procedure is prohibited once fetus becomes viable
- Partial birth abortions are banned
- Use of public funds for procedure are available for “medically necessary” abortions
- Private, wholly self-funded comprehensive insurance coverage may be used for abortion procedures
- Individual and institutional providers may refuse to participate in abortion procedures
- Mandated counseling prior to procedure is required, including disclosure of “the probable gestational age and anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child. Women must also receive information about medical assistance beneﬁts, the father’s liability for child support, and that public and private agencies are available to assist the woman”
- Waiting period of 24 hours after mandated counseling is required
- Parental consent required for minors
Arizona And Abortion: Trends And Latest News
According to AUL:
- Arizona prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage within state insurance Exchanges established pursuant to the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (required to be operational in 2014), except in cases involving threats to a woman’s life or health.
- an Arizona appellate court ruled that the abortion “right” in the state constitution is no broader than that in the federal constitution
- The court also: (1) upheld notarization requirements in the state’s parental involvement law; (2) rejected challenges to informed consent provisions requiring that information be given “orally and in person” and “by a physician”; (3) rejected challenges to Arizona’s “physician-only” provision; and (4) rejected challenges to the ability of healthcare providers to refusal to provide abortion procedures based on conscience.
Nationally, The Abortion Issue Is Divisive And Crucially Important
As defined by the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, abortion pits a woman’s Constitutional “right to privacy, which includes a qualified right to terminate her pregnancy” against a state’s “legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life.”
In Roe, the Court provided for the first time a national framework for legal abortions. The case has been under attack in federal and state courts, legislatures and executive offices ever since. But unlike other controversial court decisions, the controversy over Roe shows no sign of abating. If anything, our nation’s people and political system seem to be polarizing around this issue. During the 1970s and 1980, views on abortion were largely a nonpartisan issue. Starting in the 1990s, however, “more Republicans believed abortion should be illegal than broadly legal (by a 21-point margin), while the reverse was true among Democrats (by 19 points).”
Abortion may also be the most important, as well as the most divisive, social and political issue in the United States today, at least among women. In a recent Gallup Poll, 39% of women in the 12 key swing states for Presidential elections named abortion as the most important issue facing women. Responding in an open-ended format, women ranked the issue of abortion above jobs, the economy, healthcare, and equal pay.
Ninety-three million eligible voters did not 2012, meaning that despite its importance, most voices are not being heard on the issue of abortion. If you would like to become more involved in this issue, you may get information to contact your federally elected officials here, contact a political advocacy group here, or register to vote here.
Guttermacher Institute | NARAL Pro-Choice America | National Conference of State. Legislatures | Americans. United for Life | Legal Information Institute
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