A woman is lurking under the crusty exterior of Governor Jan Brewer, but you wouldn't know it looking at the laws she inks.
On April 12, Brewer signed HB2036, also known as the "Mother's Health and Safety Act." The law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks "except in cases when the life or health of the mother is at risk." As if getting an abortion wasn't traumatic enough, the law also requires women to receive an ultrasound before receiving an abortion just so they can see the fetus growing in their belly before terminating the pregnancy.
Like most things in Arizona, this story only gets crazier.
The state Legislature also recently passed HB2625, which exempts employers from providing contraception in their healthcare coverage. The Senate could send the bill to Brewer for her signature this week.
But the icing on the cake is the Legislature's current push to defund Planned Parenthood by barring any non-abortion related public funding to the women's health clinic.
In response to the series of regressive laws targeting women's health and reproductive rights, AZ Unite Women, a branch of the national UniteWomen.org, is organizing a rally at the state Capitol this Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"Women have been discussed like second-class citizens and told what we should do regarding our bodies and our lives," says Lesley McKinley, who is helping to organize the rally. "We find this to be not only incredibly insulting and a giant step backward in our cultural and societal evolution, but also dangerous and life threatening to women and girls."
AZ Unite Women is hoping to attract more than 500 people to the rally, scheduled to feature several speakers including local politicians and representatives from the National Organization for Women.
"HB2036 shows a stunning lack of regard for my life, for my family, and for my constitutional rights as a woman and a citizen," says McKinley, who is 23 weeks pregnant with her second child. "Medical decisions regarding my pregnancy should not be decided by legislators who are not doctors and do not have a medical degree."
Brewer may think her certification as a radiological technologist makes her an expert.
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