Arizona And Idaho Join List Of States Passing New Pro-Life Laws

arizona abortion law

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) added his state to the list of states passing new, strong pro-life bills by signing Senate Bill 1457, which expands the protection of unborn children with genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome.

The new law makes it a class 6 felony in Arizona to perform an abortion solely because of a genetic abnormality, or accept or solicit money to finance such an abortion.

Ducey stated, “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.”

Arizona wasn’t the only state taking action in recent days.

In Idaho, Gov. Brad Little on Tuesday signed into law a bill that would make it illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

However, there is a “trigger” to the law that says it will not go into effect until a similar law is upheld by a federal appeals court. 

In a statement, Little said, 

“Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives – the lives of babies. We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn. Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy. I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today.”

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Some Specifics Of The Arizona And Idaho Bills

The Arizona bill passed through the Republican-controlled Legislature along party lines, with no Democrats voting in favor.

ABC reports that Gov. Ducey has never vetoed any part of pro-life legislation.

The bill had previously stalled out twice in the Arizona Senate, but eventually passed the legislature last week.

The bill also forbids the mailing or delivery of abortifacient drugs.

SB 1457 also bans abortion providers from receiving state money.

In the Idaho law, there are exceptions for rape and incest if the woman can produce a police report. 

Violation of the Idaho law would be punishable by up to five years in prison and the pregnant woman could sue the abortion provider, but as mentioned earlier, the law doesn’t go into effect until a federal court affirms a similar law from another state.

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States With The Strictest Pro-Life Laws

Arizona and Idaho join a number of states that have strengthened abortion laws. According to U.S. News and World Report, state legislatures have enacted over 250 abortion-related laws in 45 states. 

Between January 2017 and November 2020, 88.7% of those laws have put greater restrictions on abortions. Only seven states accounted for the majority of those tougher anti-abortion laws, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah.

The range of the laws cover everything from funding restraints and restrictions for doctors, to waiting periods for patients and gestational limits.

Several of those laws would trigger a complete ban on abortion in a state should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

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Democrat Reaction To The Arizona Bill

As expected, Democrats were disappointed in the new legislation.

Arizona State Rep. Diego Espinoza of Tolleson tweeted out a statement that read, “Gov. Ducey’s decision to sign SB1457 is not pro-life. It is anti-families, anti-woman, and anti-doctor. 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.”

Democrat State Rep. Jennifer Longdon said in a tweet that, “This is truly a sad day in Arizona.” Arizona Democrats have described the bill as “part of a larger campaign to stigmatize abortion.” 

Murphy Bannerman with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona said, “It’s a really disappointing day for Arizonans throughout our state.” She continued, “Yesterday we dropped off a petition of over 2,000 signatures urging the governor to veto this bill. There are number of reasons why people make these choices. It’s not black and white, and it’s frustrating because it’s using the disability community really as a pawn.”

In Idaho, Planned Parenthood-West tweeted out a statement that read, “Let’s be clear: Nothing changes today or in the future. Abortion is still legal in Idaho, even after six weeks. This is a trigger law that would ONLY begin IF a similar ban is upheld in a separate court. And, of course, we’ll sue to stop it then.”


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