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Arizona state legislature on abortion

Swan Red

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So it seems they've managed to get legislation passed that defines the beginning of a pregnancy as the end of the previous menstrual cycle rather than conception. Thus meaning the woman is considered effectively pregnant for around two weeks before she had the sex that resulted in it.


This has led to some derision elsewhere but it seems pretty smart in a very absurd way. As I understand it Roe v Wade in the 70's defined the period at which an foetus is considered viable. This essentially sets the ceiling on a termination at between 22-24 weeks. This was defined by the Supreme Court so to lower it requires a challenge to that ruling. What's not clear is whether this can be challenged on the grounds that the redefinition of the pregnancy requires a redefinition of the period of viability.


The other thing is that while people are pointing and calling them dumb they've also managed to ban abortions above the legal limit when there is a danger to the womans health and will require all women to attend an ultra sound 24 hours before the termination.


A new law was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Thursday that has abortion advocates up in arms. The new law, titled Women’s Health and Safety Act deems a woman pregnant 2 weeks before conception.


According to Planned Parenthood of Arizona lobbyist Michelle Steinberg, the law will reduce the amount of time a legal abortion can be obtained by women. Steinberg stated that, the law is our nation’s “most extreme piece of anti-abortion legislation.”


The bill was sponsored by Arizona State Rep. Kimberly Yee. Yee is also an ardent supporter of drug testing anyone who receives welfare assistance. She is considered by some to be an “extremist”.


Steinberg explained the law by saying, “The law defines pregnancy in a way that bans abortion two weeks before the other seven states who have similar laws. It calculates gestational age starting with the first day of the last menstrual period rather than the date of conception.”


The law which should go into effect later this month also now requires any women who want to have an abortion to have an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. The current law will allow abortions to be performed up until the time that the fetus could “reasonably survive outside the womb”. This is around 22 to 24 weeks.


With the current law, a woman could still legally have an abortion after that time if it was to “protect the life or health of the woman”. That would no longer be the case with the new law.


Jordan Goldberg is the Center of Reproductive Rights state advocacy counsel. He stated that the law “disregards women’s health in a way I’ve never seen before. The women of Arizona can’t access medical treatments that other women can.”



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