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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Abortion bills pass

Two Arizona abortion bills will place restrictions on state funding for abortion programs and further limit access to abortion procedures.

House bills 2416 and 2384 passed through the Legislature and were signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

H.B. 2416, which was signed on

April 2, prohibits the use of telemedicine, or electronically exchanged medical information for patient health, in an abortion. The bill also requires that women seeking an abortion be given the option to see their ultrasound before the procedure, said Republican Sen. Nancy Barto, from District 7.

“”The more information a woman has before she makes that choice, the better for her,”” Barto said. “”Because there’s nothing worse than having knowledge after the fact and believing that you may have made a different choice.””

Many women change their minds after realizing that what is inside of them is alive and has a heartbeat, she said. Years later, they end up regretting their decision and suffer emotionally and psychologically as a result.

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, from District 15, opposes the bill. She said that, because of the coercive setting, most women will not refuse to see the ultrasound if their doctor makes it available to them.

“”That’s probably unconstitutional because other courts in the country have noted that it’s an undue burden on the woman,”” she said.

Sinema said it is even more detrimental that H.B. 2416 prohibits the use of telemedicine because the practice helps women access the abortion pill with consultation from a doctor.

Women can take a series of two pills, to be taken within the first nine weeks during pregnancy, in order to induce a woman’s period, she said. A doctor must prescribe it, but not all parts of the state have doctors that perform abortions, Sinema said.

Telemedicine allows women to go to a nurse practitioner to get a screening and have a TV conference with the doctor. They could also get their pills prescribed this way, she said.

If a pregnant woman knows she wants to have an abortion, she can no longer use the television conference system, Sinema said. This also makes it harder for women who are poor or live in rural communities.

“”It’s basically another attempt to just stop women from getting access to lawful abortion,”” she said.

Barto said they are trying to help women avoid the consequences of regretting abortion decisions and thinks having the option to see the ultrasound will save lives.

“”At the end of the day, that’s important to me, but I think it’s important to a lot of Americans,”” she said.

H.B. 2384, which was signed on April 12, explains that abortions will not be subsidized using tax dollars, Barto said. The bill also denies funding for any organization that provides referrals to women seeking an abortion procedure, Sinema said.

“”One of the problems with (H.B.) 2384 is that we already don’t have public funding for abortions in Arizona,”” Sinema said.

If someone goes to an obstetrician or gynecologist to get a pregnancy test and wants to know their options, this bill poses limitations, Sinema said.

“”This would prohibit the health professional from even explaining what your options are,”” she said. “”That’s ridiculous.””

“”Anyone can believe whatever they want to believe about abortion, but making decisions for other people isn’t fair,”” she said.

There were instances found where the money was encouraging abortions, so it was necessary to close the loophole, Barto said. Arizona law prohibits the use of tax money for abortions.

Without H.B. 2384, Arizonans were subsidizing abortions for public funding and student fees were being used to provide abortion training, Barto said.

Public money and student fees will not be used for abortion training at state universities and community colleges, she said. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood will not be qualified to use the working tax credit and instead the money will be used for lawful purposes, Barto said.

“”Taxpayers will be protected knowing that their funding is not going toward something they consider morally objectionable,”” she said. “”They can have faith that their lawmakers are watching over their public funds.””

Barto said residents of the UA’s obstetrics and gynecology program will still be able to receive the training they want and the bill will not have an effect on the accreditation. In the past, training has been provided through private funds and there is no evidence that the programs will be impeded by the bill, she said.

“”The Supreme Court has upheld the right of states to make a value judgment, favoring childbirth over abortion, and to implement that judgment by the allocation of public funds,”” she said.

Barto said H.B. 2384 would not make it harder for women to get abortions because organizations can still seek funding elsewhere.

“”What we don’t need are bills like this that just seek to make it harder for women to get the health care they need,”” Sinema said. “”I think it’s wrong that we’re doing this.””

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