Arizona House Approves Bill to Stop Nurses, Non-Doctors From Doing Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 6, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona House Approves Bill to Stop Nurses, Non-Doctors From Doing Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 6
, 2008

Phoenix, AZ ( — An Arizona House committee has approved legislation that would have the western state joining most others in the nation by banning nurses and other non-physicians from doing abortions. The bill comes on the heels of a request from a Planned Parenthood nurse for official approval for the surgical abortions she’s already done.

Mary Andrews has taken it upon herself to do abortions because the state has no law one way or the other on the issue.

However, she wants the Arizona State Board of Nursing to give her its rubber stamp of approval. The board is also considering a complaint filed against Andrews that it will take up later this month..

Although their legislation doesn’t name Andrews and covers all non-doctors, the House Health Committee approved HB 2269 on Wednesday.

Rep. Bob Stump, a Republican who chairs the panel, told the Arizona Daily Star that he sees no reason to wait on the board to rule on Andrews’ request or the complaint before moving ahead with state law to require that people doing abortions must be licensed physicians.

The committee approved the measure on a 6-3 vote and now the full Arizona House will debate and vote on it.

Meanwhile, Michelle Steinberg, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said the abortion business has been using a nurse to do abortions for eight years, going against the typical pro-abortion mantra that abortion should be a decision made between "a woman and her doctor."

If nurses are allowed to do abortions in Arizona, it could pave the way for other states to relax their requirements on only physicians doing abortions.

With so few doctors willing to do abortions and so many abortion practitioners running afoul of the law, there is an abortion practitioner shortage. That could be mitigated if nurses are allowed to put women’s health at risk by doing surgical abortions.

Denise Burke, an attorney with Americans United for Life, tells CitizenLink that only nine states currently don’t have a requirement that only licensed physicians can do abortions.

“In many cases they simply don’t have a law on the books addressing who should be performing surgical abortions," she said of those without such a statute.

"If they can be successful in one state, then they may go to one of these other states that has no physician only requirement," Burke worries.