Arizona governor Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill on Tuesday outlawing abortions based solely on the diagnosis of survivable fetal genetic issues.
The controversial bill bans abortions performed specifically because the fetus was diagnosed with a genetic disorder such as Downs syndrome or cystic fibrosis. The bill makes it a felony offense for a doctor to perform an abortion under these circumstances. The only exception to the new law is if the diagnosed genetic condition is unsurvivable. The bill further allows the biological father of an aborted fetus or the maternal grandparents of the fetus to file a lawsuit, and prohibits the mail delivery of any abortion-inducing drugs in the state. Other provisions in the bill include a “personhood” clause, which essentially confers all civil rights to an unborn fetus, a ban on state funds going to any organizations that provide abortion services, and a requirement that any fetal remains aborted solely for genetic issues must be buried or cremated.
State democrats immediately railed against this new bill, issuing a lengthy written rebuttal, which accused the new bill of raising “egregious constitutional issues.” State Senators Kirsten Engel (D) and state Representative Melody Hernandez (D) wrote of SB1457, “The bill is an expansive and intrusive step toward criminalizing, restricting, and regulating women, doctors, universities and public institutions.”
“Gov. Ducey’s decision to sign SB1457 is not pro-life. It is anti-families, anti-woman, and anti-doctor,” Rep. Diego Espinoza tweeted. “I’m disappointed to see Arizona moving in this direction, ignoring the needs and desires of doctors, women, and families for an extreme political agenda.” Upon signing the bill, Governor Ducey issued a statement saying, “There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup […] We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: REUTERS