In a strong victory for unborn babies and moms, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed three pro-life measures into law on Thursday.
“Today, Arizona spoke loud and clear: not on our watch will the body parts of aborted babies be bought and sold as commodities on the open market,” Cathi Herrod, president of the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy, said in a statement. “No longer will Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider be able to peddle aborted remains and exploit a loophole in federal law to make an extra buck.”
The first of the three bills, Arizona Senate Bill 1474, makes Arizona one of the first in the nation to prohibit the sale, experimentation and research on aborted babies’ body parts, according to the pro-life group.
Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, introduced SB 1474 earlier this year, saying she was “shocked” by the undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing top Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies’ body parts.
Similar to bills introduced in other states, SB 1474 makes it a crime to knowingly “sell, transfer, distribute, give away, accept, use or attempt to use any human fetus or embryo or any part, organ or fluid of the human fetus or embryo resulting from an abortion.” The bill includes exceptions for pathological studies to determine the cause of death and diagnostic tests to preserve the life of the mother or the unborn baby.
At the end of March, the state House gave final approval of the three bills and sent them to the pro-life governor’s desk. The bills passed with bipartisan support, according to the pro-life group.
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The second bill, Senate Bill 1324, comes at a difficult time. It requires that abortion businesses follow the FDA standards for prescribing medical abortions. Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses routinely used the abortion drug regimen RU-486 off-label, prescribing it later in pregnancy and using lower doses than the FDA recommended. These measures saved the abortion businesses money but put unsuspecting women in greater danger of complications.
The state previously attempted to protect women and unborn babies from these dangerous abortions, but a court struck down the earlier legislation in October. Then, this week, profit-driven industry successfully lobbied the Obama administration to change FDA guidelines, basically nullifying the protective new law in Arizona and other states.
Gov. Ducey issued a statement indicating that the legislature may need to take additional steps to respond to the new FDA requirements.
“At the time SB1324 was passed, the FDA had not updated its label in fifteen years, and there was no indication that an update was imminent,” Ducey said. “The legislature acted in good faith to deal with litigation brought by an organization that profits from and advocates for expanded access to abortion.”
The final bill, Arizona Senate Bill 1485, bans abortion groups from the state employee charitable giving program. The law is a continuation of a move last year by Gov. Ducey to kick out Planned Parenthood from the program. In 2014, the abortion business’s Arizona affiliate received about $7,250 from state employees through the program, LifeNews reported.
State legislators also are considering a separate bill that would make it easier to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
“While today we may celebrate this victory, our work is not done until every woman and preborn child is protected from the dangerous and deadly practices of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” Herrod said. “Thankfully, through the leadership of Gov. Ducey and a pro-life legislature, Arizona continues to build a culture of life that respects the human dignity of every preborn child, addresses the health and safety needs of every woman considering an abortion, and protects taxpayer dollars from facilitating abortions.”
Gov. Ducy also released a statement about the new laws: “The right to life is fundamental, and these reforms are consistent with my track record of supporting common-sense initiatives that promote the health and safety of Arizonans and protect precious human life. In light of recent allegations of unlawful practices and procedures on a national level, it is a responsibility I will not take lightly. I will continue to support efforts that affirm the protection of the preborn.”
The laws are schedule to go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, according to The Arizona Republic.