Arizona Governor Indicators Invoice Banning Abortions Because of Genetic Anomalies

An anti-abortion law signed last week by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) could be a harbinger of things to come, say some experts on the matter.

Arizona law, which was passed by a narrow majority in both houses of the legislature, prohibits abortion for genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome unless the genetic abnormality is deemed fatal. Criminal sanctions, including prison terms, are also imposed on abortion providers. And it prohibits shipping or home delivery of abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486, although personal visits to obtain the drugs are still allowed in some cases.

Busy week for legislations

Overall, the past week has been particularly active on state abortion legislation. “Between April 26 and 29, 28 new restrictions were introduced into the law in seven states – almost half (46%) of the restrictions enacted so far in 2021,” said a policy analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion law organization for research and advocacy. “This was the highest number of new restrictions signed in a week in at least a decade. That number includes several abortion bans that directly challenge Roe: a near-total abortion ban in Oklahoma, six-week abortion bans in Idaho and Oklahoma, a 20-week ban in Montana, and [the] Arizona ban on abortion for non-fatal genetic abnormalities. “

Additionally, the analysis found that “Arkansas has 20 restrictions in place with a new abortion clinic restriction in 2021, setting Louisiana’s 1978 record for most restrictions in a single year.”

Elizabeth Nash, chief government policy officer at the Guttmacher Institute and one of the authors of the analysis, said in a telephone interview that she expects more such bills to be introduced. “Certainly, it’s the focus of litigation. There is one court case that the Sixth County in Ohio has incriminated for Down syndrome, a similar case in Tennessee, and there are other cases,” she said.

While it’s not the near-total abortion bans that some state lawmakers have put in place to get the Supreme Court to try Roe v. Wade, overturning the 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide, “this could be an issue affecting the Supreme Court pretty quickly,” she added. “Usually the courts have knocked these down frequently,” but with the Sixth Circuit recently allowing Ohio law to go into effect pending further litigation – the waiver of a district court injunction – they are signaling that it could be a split Circuit, “the kind of case the Supreme Court tends to weigh.

Laws like Arizona’s are part of a “slippery slope,” she added. “We see these bans based on genetic abnormalities, race and gender selection. This calls into question any reason for an abortion.”

Opposition is heating up

According to Caroline Mello Roberson, regional director for the Southwest of NARAL, NARAL, a group campaigning for abortion rights, is working on their response to the passing of the Arizona law. “After Governor Ducey officially signs this apparently unconstitutional law, NARAL will support the partners’ litigation while laying the groundwork for 2022,” Roberson said in an email.

“With the Arizona legislature ending, NARAL will step up our electoral advocacy efforts to ensure that lawmakers who supported this bill are held accountable at the ballot box for betraying Arizona values ​​by bringing it up dangerous bill is passed that will affect people’s personal choices about whether, when, and how to raise a family. Together with our more than 52,000 members across the state, we look forward to fighting these extreme anti-electoral and anti-freedom Oust Republicans next November. “

Although abortion bans are no longer expected at this meeting in Arizona, NARAL gave examples of recent abortion laws and laws from other states, all of which include criminal penalties for abortion providers:

  • Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) recently signed Law HB 136, which prohibits abortion later in pregnancy with no exceptions for cases of rape, incest or the health of the pregnant person. The bill provides criminal sanctions for abortion providers, including both doctors and clinicians for advanced practices.
  • Last month, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed Act SB 6, prohibiting abortion except to save the life of the mother, with no exemptions for rape, incest or maternal health. The bill provides criminal sanctions against doctors for providing abortion services.
  • South Dakota lawmakers passed law (HB 1110) that bans abortion for Down syndrome unless the abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life. The bill includes a felony conviction and a $ 10,000 fine for the abortion provider.
  • HB 377 prohibits the treatment of drug abortion in Alabama and provides criminal sanctions for any vendor who sells, dispenses, or transfers drug abortion. The bill is currently pending on the Justice Committee in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Praise for the Arizona Bill

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) praised the Arizona law. “We are certainly against abortions that are based on genetic results – sometimes that [expected] The result is wrong and it’s a wrong diagnosis, but more importantly, these children, their lives are just as important “as those without anomalies, said NRLC press secretary Laura Echevarria in a telephone interview.” And I speak as the parent of children with disabilities … From an organizational point of view, we believe in a fundamental right to life. “

Echevarria said that in her own case, she was told that Down syndrome was a possibility for her unborn son. “I had argued with the perinatologist about an amniocentesis because I didn’t want one. We had a miscarriage two years ago and didn’t want to risk it. If I’d lost the baby, I’d have blamed myself.” . “She and her husband later went back for a repeated ultrasound and learned that the baby appeared to be genetically normal. Her son was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old, and she also has another son on the autism spectrum.

The NRLC lists 17 states that have passed laws prohibiting abortion based on gender, race, or disability. The oldest of these laws was passed in Illinois in 1975, while Arizona is the newest. The 17 states required the Illinois Act to criminalize abortion sentences, while seven other states – Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi – required the laws to be fully enforced due to pending litigation.

  • Joyce Frieden is responsible for reporting on MedPage Today in Washington, including reports on Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, health trade associations, and federal agencies. She has 35 years of experience in health policy. consequences

Comments are closed.