The Arizona Senate gave final approval earlier this week to the second of two controversial abortion bills to pass through the Legislature this year. This one's aimed at guilting women out of ending their pregnancies and places more restrictions on abortions by pill.
HB 2416, approved 18-10 by the Senate on Wednesday, forces abortion doctors to offer patients the opportunity to look at ultrasound images of the fetus, and listen to its heartbeat -- a move to basically try to scare or guilt women out of having an abortion.
GOP lawmakers call it "informed consent."
It also adds stiffer regulations to RU-486 -- a pill that chemically causes women to miscarry often used for early-term abortions -- that would subject the procedure to the same regulations as surgical abortion.
Doing so, officials from Planned Parenthood say, would block access of early-term abortions to women living in rural communities. The group says that by preventing early-term abortions by over-regulating the pill will lead to more late-term, potentially riskier abortions.
The passage of the bill comes just days after Governor Jan Brewer signed another controversial abortion bill into law that makes it a crime for a physician to perform an abortion if the woman is ending the pregnancy because of the race or gender of the child.
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As we've noted (and noted and noted), there is no evidence to suggest that women having abortions for either of those reasons is even an issue in Arizona -- and the lawmaker who drafted the bill refuses to provide evidence that he claims shows it is an issue.
As Capitol Media Services' Howard Fischer points out, with a pro-life Republican governor like Jan Brewer running the show (as opposed to Democrat Janet Napolitano, who vetoed almost every anti-abortion bill that crossed her desk), it's open season for extreme right-wingers to get wacky abortion bills passed in the Grand Canyon State.
The bill now heads to Brewer's desk, where it probably will be signed into law.