An Arizona Senate committee advanced legislation Thursday that could protect hundreds of unborn babies from violent abortion deaths every year in the state.
KGUN News 9 reports the state Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 to pass a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. The bill now heads to the full state Senate for consideration.
Sponsored by state Sen. Nancy Barto, R-North Phoenix, Senate Bill 1164 would make it illegal to abort an unborn baby after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies when the mother’s life is at risk. Abortionists who violate the abortion ban could lose their medical license and face felony charges.
“We need to look at this issue how lives can be saved, and this is the next step, a very common sense way of saving lives in Arizona,” Barto said, according to Fox 10 News.
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If it passes, the bill could save hundreds of unborn babies’ lives every year. According to state health statistics, 669 unborn babies were aborted at 16 weeks or later in 2019.
Barto’s bill is similar to a Mississippi law that the U.S. Supreme Court currently is considering. Many hope the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, will prompt the justices overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
Currently, states are prohibited from banning abortions before viability, about 22 weeks of pregnancy.
At the committee meeting Thursday, pro-abortion lobbyists with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union urged lawmakers to reject the bill, claiming that abortions “save lives,” according to Fox 10.
“We know that abortion is not just about legality,” ACLU lobbyist Victoria Lopez said. “It is about our dignity, our humanity and our freedom. It is about saving lives.”
Abortions killed more than 13,000 unborn babies in Arizona in 2019. Polls consistently show strong public support for banning abortion after the first trimester.
This week, the Florida legislature also advanced a similar ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
TAKE ACTION: To support this pro-life legislation, please contact your Arizona state lawmakers.