Arizona abortion law violates women
By Napua Kalani
Although the presidential election has come to an end, the issue of abortion laws and regulations has just begun.
In America, women are entitled by the law to undergo an abortion in all 50 states. The ruling that states women have the legal right to abort the fetus came after legal precedent was established, and it states a woman’s right to privacy shall be protected.
Two Supreme Court cases, Doe vs. Bolton and Roe vs. Wade (in Georgia and Texas, respectively) struck down the previous abortion laws in both states and made abortion legal in the United States. However, as we near a new year, Arizona has put early-limit laws against abortion in the state: an infringement on women’s federal legal rights.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s abortion restriction into law earlier this year. According to The New York Times, the new law, HB 2036 (in effect since Aug. 2), proscribes women from getting abortions once they’ve reached the 20-week mark since their last menstrual period, unless in an extreme medical emergency.
This regulation is now the earliest deadline for an abortion set by any state, with most states’ laws making the deadline 24 weeks. This deadline was set after the cases mentioned above defined the point in time when a fetus reaches viability. They theorized a fetus has the potential to live outside its mother’s womb at, earliest, 24 weeks. Abortion rights activists are taking Arizona’s law to court because it has zero scientific or rational bases to ban women from getting abortions after 20 weeks.
According to Bill Montgomery, attorney for the Maricopa County defending the law, the law’s purpose is to protect women from the risks associated from receiving an abortion later in pregnancy. There are other safe forms of terminating pregnancies, such as the use of mifepristone and misoprostol, without requiring a surgical procedure.
According to Phoenix gynecologist Dr. Paul Isaacson, most women seek later abortions only because they received a lethal diagnosis during the course of a wanted pregnancy. This puts women into further risk because it would force some women to carry full term pregnancies even though the newborn would be stillborn or die quickly after birth.
Furthermore, according to Cathi Herrod, president of a conservative Christian group — the Center for Arizona Policy and coauthor of the law, said the law was important for protecting the pre-born child from pain and death. According to obstetrical anesthesiologist at the University of California at San Francisco, Mark Rosen, in an article by Discovery Magazine, a fetus can’t feel pain until at least the 28th week of gestation.
“They haven’t formed the necessary nerve pathways,” Rosen said of fetuses in stages earlier than 28 weeks.
This law is scientifically unfound, therefore violating women’s constitutional rights without reason. HB 2036 is a ban on abortion in Arizona that we need to appeal — and in order to do so we must educate and vote in lawmakers that will not impose unconstitutional statute on its citizens.