| News |

Arizona Still Leading the Way in New Laws Restricting Abortion

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Arizona, already a state known for strict anti-abortion measures, is still among the states imposing new restrictions in 2014.

The Center for Reproductive Rights released a comparison of new abortion-related laws passed by states in 2014, and judged Arizona as one of 10 states where legislators have passed big anti-abortion measures.

See also:
-Brewer Signs Bill Allowing Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics
-Arizona's New Abortion Rules to Stay Blocked

If the organization's name sounds familiar, that's because they've been involved in recent litigation against one of Arizona's abortion-restricting laws. They were successful in getting a panel of federal judges to block the implementation of laws mandating very strict use of medicated abortion methods in Arizona while the court battle goes on.

Nationwide, the organization counted 250 bills proposing abortion restrictions across 40 states in 2014, countered with 100 bills they classify as "proactive, pro-women's health measures."

Arizona didn't get back in the good graces of the Center for Reproductive Rights, thanks to a new law that allows the state health department to perform searches of abortion clinics without a warrant.

From the organization's report:

Arizona enacts "perfect storm" TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law

HB 2284 presents the ultimate catch-22 for abortion providers in Arizona. The bill greatly expands the state health department's ability to conduct surprise, warrantless inspections, while simultaneously sharply curtailing a clinic's ability to remain open if the inspection reveals even a minor deficiency that bears no relationship to patient health or safety.

Anti-abortion activists elsewhere routinely file anonymous, unfounded complaints for the purpose of encouraging the state health department to harass and ultimately close abortion clinics. One serious risk of HB 2284 is that it could lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of the many laws and regulations applicable to abortion care in the state--some of which are completely unrelated to patient safety. This bill is yet another example of Arizona's notoriously misguided efforts to limit constitutional rights and freedoms instead of promoting and protecting those rights. For example, legislators in 2012 passed one of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in recent memory. The most egregious provisions of that bill--an unconstitutional ban on pre-viability abortion and harmful restrictions on medication abortion--are blocked from going into effect by federal court orders.

That law was supported by the Center for Arizona Policy, the organization that was also behind SB 1062, the so-called "religious freedom" bill.

Arizona's still not the state with the most restrictive abortion regulations, as Mississippi -- a state with just one abortion clinic still open -- managed to come up with further regulations of the practice.

Some of the laws passed by the other states shown above in red are already on the books in Arizona. Check out the Center for Reproductive Rights' report for more information on the laws passed by other states.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.