ARIZONA, USA — On Wednesday, Arizona Governor Ducey signed legislation that will outlaw abortions after 15 weeks in most cases.
When it goes into effect – abortions won’t be able to be performed after 15 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, unless it’s a medical emergency.
Providers who violate the law – could end up facing a felony charge. Women would not be charged.
Dr. DeShawn Taylor is the owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix. She said the restrictions shouldn’t be in place.
"It harms people's ability to exercise autonomy over their bodies and lives," Taylor said.
In a statement, Ducey's office said more than 90% of abortions would not be affected, citing CDC statistics that say most take place before 13 weeks gestation.
"I think if you would look at the statistics on what is already happening in our country, you'd find that this is a very reasonable policy," Ducey said.
However, Taylor said there are women seeking abortions past 15 weeks.
"When I return to the clinic next week, there are five or six people already on my schedule, who would not be allowed abortion care if this law was to go into effect today," Taylor said.
Eloisa Lopez, executive director of Pro-Choice Arizona and Abortion Fund of Arizona questioned the governor’s statistics that most women seeking abortion do so before 15 weeks.
Abortion Fund of Arizona helps pay for medical procedure expenses and practical support for women seeking abortions.
Lopez said 60 percent of the more than 2,000 patients the organization has helped are seeking abortions after 15 weeks.
“Our stance on this is we are an organization that has always faced barriers. We have always worked with patients who are facing barriers. We are going to continue helping people. We will have to send more people out of state,” Lopez said.
Lopez said abortion is tough to get is already in Arizona, and said the law will end up pushing people to try and seek the abortion out of state, which will add to the $600 cost for an abortion because of needing time off of work, child care, flights, and other expenses.
She believes that many people will not be able to afford that which will leave them feeling trapped.
“Why are we so focused on forcing people to remain pregnant when our own state legislature is not funding legislation? Not funding or supporting access to support pregnant people, this is further stigmatizing people and keeping them in poverty,” Lopez said.
In his letter signing the bill, Ducey referenced a Mississippi law now being considered by the nation’s high court. The bill explicitly says it does not overrule a state law in place for more than 100 years that would ban abortion outright if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that enshrined the right to abortion in law.
“The court is going to rule likely in June and we have a law on the books in Arizona that will take effect in 90 days," Ducey said.
Taylor believes the law limits access to safe medical care in the later stages of pregnancy.
"Abortion allows people the opportunity to chart their course, and to not only survive but thrive," she said.
Dr. Taylor also said she’s hoping other means will keep the law from being enforced. However, she said she will comply with the law if it goes into effect.
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