Arizona lawmakers approved a bill Thursday that will mandate abortion providers and physicians request information from women undergoing abortions about their reasons to abort and provide them with comprehensive information about the risks of abortion.
“What this bill does, it upgrades and updates the way we ask these questions in order to make sure that we’re getting accurate information,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Nancy Barto, said, according to US News. “It’s important in order for us to really understand policymaking going forward and how to better serve women in the policies that go to protecting the unborn when they choose abortion,” she added.
The bill — Senate Bill 1394 — lists 11 potential reasons, including questions about the woman’s emotional and physical health, according to the Arizona Central. Reasons include not being able to afford a child, not wanting a child, being raped, a husband having an extramarital affair, abuse and others.
The bill passed 16-12, with only one Republican and one Democrat breaking ranks.
“Better data means better service,” Center for Arizona Policy president, Cathi Herrod said, according to the Arizona Central. She also noted that doctors would be required to keep patients’ names and other identifiable information confidential, charging that the information would be used only to make health services better and would not pose a privacy concern.
Democratic Sen. Katie Hobbs, who voted against the measure, sees the bill as an attempt to shame women for aborting. She posits it will also result in dissuading women who have legitimate reasons for aborting from doing so. “Arizonans are really tired of this unnecessary overreach into people’s personal, private medical decisions,” said Hobbs. “These additional reporting requirements provide absolutely zero, zero public health benefits or purpose.” She added that given abortion is legal, the state has no right to insist a woman give her reasons why she is aborting.
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