Arizona State House Committee Approves Right to Know Abortion Bill
by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2004
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — An Arizona state House committee on Thursday approved pro-life legislation that would make sure women have ample information about abortion risks, alternatives and fetal development prior to having an abortion.
Similar laws in other states have significantly reduced abortions and a recent Harvard-MIT study found that such laws were the most successful pro-life laws in driving down abortion rates.
The state House Judiciary Committee voted 7-5 in favor of the legislation. The bill requires abortion businesses to ensure that women receive the information 24 hours prior to performing an abortion. Those who withhold the information face fines.
Pro-life groups were pleased with the vote and are looking to the battles ahead.
"The Arizona House is off to a great start with this pro-life legislation and we are
hopeful to get it on the Governor’s desk," Shane Wikfors, the director of Arizona Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
"We know informed consent legislation works. It’s time for Arizona to join the 30 other states which have enacted this legislation and reduced their abortion rates," Wikfors added.
Abortion advocates opposed the legislation.
Marge Mead, representing the National Organization for Women and the American Association of University Women told state lawmakers that the bill is more of an attempt to stop abortion than it is to help women. She accused pro-life advocates and the bill sponsors of not caring about women’s health.
Republican Representative Gary Pierce of Mesa called Mead’s remarks insulting and said women deserve to have complete information about abortion prior to making an abortion decision.
State Rep. Steve Tully of Phoenix (R) accused Mead of "demonizing" pro-life people. He said he is the father of four daughters and found Mead’s remarks incredulous.
"During the hearing abortion activists resorted to name-calling and the same fallacious claims about back-alley abortions," Wikfors said. "It’s really getting old, especially when its been disproven."
Wikfors said that the need for the legislation is important — especially following the convictions of John Biskind, who killed a woman via a botched abortion and Brian Finkel, who was found guilty of sexually harassing dozens of patients.
"After the Biskind and Finkel convictions, Arizona women deserve far better," Wikfors concluded. "This legislation will clearly raise that standard and guarantee that women be told the truth about abortion."
ACTION: Contact your state Represenative with your views about this pro-life bill. A list of members can be found at https://www.azleg.state.az.us/members/house.htm
Related web sites:
Arizona Right to Life – https://www.azrtl.org