Arizona governor signs controversial abortion bill
Arizona governor signs controversial abortion bill

[JURIST] Arizona Governor Doug Ducey [official website] signed a bill Monday that requires abortion providers in the state to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion, and also bars women from buying any health care plan through the federal marketplace that includes coverage for abortions. “The American people overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, and it’s no different in Arizona, where we have long-standing policy against subsidizing them with public dollars,” said Ducey [press release]. “This legislation provides clarity to state law.” The Arizona House and Senate passed the bill along party lines after a House committee amended it to include the medication provision requiring doctors to tell patients that the drug-induced procedure can be reversed. The provision was based on the testimony of an anti-abortion doctor, Dr. Allan Sawyer, who said he recently reversed a drug-induced abortion at 10 weeks but acknowledged the procedure is not widely known. Critics, including medical professionals, say there is no science to back up that claim [AP report].

Reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder] have remained a divisive issue throughout the country for decades. Earlier this month a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a state law requiring doctors performing abortions to have privileges to admit patients to a nearby hospital is unconstitutional. Also this month the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] challenged [JURIST report] an Alabama law that allows fetuses legal representation in cases where minors seek abortions. Also in March the West Virginia Legislature overrode the governor’s veto to pass a bill [JURIST report] banning abortions after 20 weeks. In February Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood [official website] asked the US Supreme Court [official website] to allow the state to enforce [JURIST report] an abortion law that was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2014. Also in February the Montana Supreme Court [official website] reversed [JURIST report] a decision granting summary judgment to Planned Parenthood in a case challenging two Montana abortion parental consent laws, ordering further proceedings. In January the US House of Representatives [official website] passed a bill [JURIST report] that would ban abortions supported by federal funding.