Arizona Governor signs sweeping pro-life legislation into law

By Dave Andrusko

Hats off to the pro-life governor of Arizona and pro-life Republican legislators for passage of an extremely comprehensive  law that among many other provisions, forbids abortionists from taking an unborn child’s life because the child has been prenatally diagnosed with a genetic anomaly, most often Down syndrome. 

“There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives. My sincere thanks to Senator Nancy Barto for her leadership and work on this life-saving issue.”
To which state Sen. Barto added, “We need to protect our most vulnerable, especially those with treatable genetic conditions. They are loved, integral members of our community that make Arizona whole — and I’m proud to sponsor legislation that gives them a voice before they’re even born. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for signing Senate Bill 1457.”  

According to the governor’s statement, SB 1457 “also requires the doctor performing the abortion inform the woman that is it unlawful to perform an abortion due to the child’s race, sex, or genetic abnormality.”

Passage was always going to be precarious. Each of the two houses is almost exactly divided evenly among pro-abortion Democrats and pro-life Republicans.  One Republican in the House and one in the Senate were holdouts at different stages.

At the request of the House Republican, Rep. Regina Cobb, the Senate version was amended to allow an abortion if the baby had a “severe fetal anomaly.”

When it returned to the Senate, Sen. Tyler Pace objected that another portion of the bill lacked clarity.  However, “A new amendment tacked on in a conference committee Monday makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if the sole reason the woman seeks it is that the fetus has a genetic abnormality,” reported Bob Christie of the AP. “And it clarifies the definition of a lethal fetal abnormality.”

Maria Polletta of the Arizona Republic  reported that Senate Bill 1457 also “forbids the mailing or delivery of abortion-inducing drugs.

“It also requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated and imposes new reporting requirements on medical facilities. 

It prohibits public educational institutions from performing abortions unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy. And it prevents public money from supporting research involving abortions or embryo transfers. 

In addition, HB1457 includes a legislative declaration that Arizona laws recognize that an unborn child has “all rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state.”

“With this legislation, Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation,” Governor Ducey’s Office said in a news release.