Arizona Passes Bill to Ensure Abortion Clinics to Help Rape Victims Instead of Just Aborting Their Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 11, 2018   |   6:10PM   |   Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona lawmakers passed a bill this week to require additional reporting data about abortions in the state.

The Hill reports the legislation, which heads to Gov. Doug Ducey, would require abortion facilities to report information about the reasons women have abortions, a woman’s race, age, educational background, material status, number of previous abortions and more. The state Department of Health would compile an annual report with the data.

It also includes measures to help victims of rape, incest and sex trafficking by requiring abortion facilities to provide their patients with ways to contact law enforcement, the AP reports. Women are not required to answer the questions.

The state Senate passed the bill in a 17-13 vote, while the state House voted 35-22.

“This vote should have been unanimous by both houses,” the Center for Arizona Policy said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that those who favor legalized abortion are so blinded by their ideology that they choose to oppose reporting requirements designed to help meet the needs of women and to assist policymakers. I encourage all Arizonans to look beyond the rhetoric and read this common-sense legislation.”

The pro-life group said the data is “critical” information that will help state policymakers as they work to improve the health and well-being of Arizona women and their families.

However, Jodi Liggett of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona slammed the bill, telling Bustle that lawmakers are “making the abortion experience as shaming and degrading as possible for people, to thereby discourage them from following through with their decision.”

But CAP contended the legislation will provide assistance to victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, as well as inform policymakers.

“Victims of criminal acts would be given the resources to seek justice for the perpetrator and to get services meeting their needs, if they so choose,” the pro-life group said. “Victims of sex trafficking would also be given the national hotline for human trafficking.”

State abortion reporting requirements vary throughout the United States.

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The Centers for Disease Control issues an abortion report every year, but reporting is voluntary. Some states do not report any abortion data to the federal government, while others provide only limited data. The CDC report even cautions people that its data is not complete.

At the federal level, several pro-life groups have called on lawmakers to require that basic abortion data be reported to the government.