Republican Joins Democrats to Defeat Arizona Bill Banning Abortion Pill That Kills Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 25, 2022   |   11:18AM   |   Phoenix, Arizona

An Arizona bill that would ban abortion drugs narrowly failed Thursday in the state House after a Republican lawmaker joined Democrats in opposing it.

Republicans control the state House by just one seat, and state Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, who is pro-life, voted against the bill along with all Democrat lawmakers, The Associated Press reports.

State House Bill 2811, sponsored by state Rep. Jacqueline Parker, R-Mesa, would make it a felony to sell or dispense abortion drugs in Arizona.

“To me, there’s no more important right than the right to live,” Parker said, according to the report. “And there’s nothing else without life and the chance for life.”

The abortion drug mifepristone, or RU-486, now is used for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., according to a new Guttmacher Institute report. In Arizona, that equates to nearly 7,000 unborn babies who are aborted with the drug every year, according to state health data.

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On Thursday, Democrat lawmakers and Udall expressed concerns that the bill also would ban drugs used for abortions from being used for other purposes, including miscarriages, the report continues.

“Members, I am about as pro-life as they come,” Udall said. “However, in my research of some of these medications, they are used for other purposes as well. They’re used for women who have had a miscarriage. They’re also used to treat Cushing’s Syndrome and they have other uses. And so to criminalize making these medications and using them will hurt other people.”

More than a dozen states have introduced legislation this year to restrict or ban the abortion drug mifepristone, or RU-486, after the Biden administration dropped important safety regulations on the drug in December. Now, abortion facilities are selling abortion drugs through the mail without ever seeing the woman.

Along with killing millions of unborn babies, the abortion drug has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications between 2000 and 2018, according to the Food and Drug Administration. However, under President Barack Obama, the FDA stopped requiring that non-fatal complications from mifepristone be reported. So the numbers almost certainly are much higher.

The drug is dangerous for the mother as well as her unborn baby. Recent British NHS health data shows a massive hospitalization rate after the government began allowing mail-order abortion drugs in 2020. According to the data, more than 10,000 women who received the abortion drugs by mail needed hospital treatment in 2020, or about one in 17 women. As a result, this week, the British Department of Health and Social Care announced that it will begin requiring in-person appointments again for the abortion drug.

Another 2009 study “Immediate Complications After Medical Compared With Surgical Termination of Pregnancy,” in the journal “Obstetrics and Gynecology” found the complication rate was approximately four times higher for abortion drugs than for surgical abortions.

Mifepristone is an abortion drug used to abort unborn babies up to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone and basically starving the unborn baby to death. Typically, women also are prescribed a second drug, misoprostol, that induces labor and expels their aborted baby’s body.

Arizona already has a law that bans abortions, but it is not enforceable because of Roe v. Wade. Should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the infamous abortion ruling, Arizona would be one of approximately 26 states that would ban the killing of unborn babies in abortions, according to a Guttmacher estimate.