Arizona House passes bill making it a felony to terminate a pregnancy if the fetus has a survivable genetic abnormality

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Credit: World Today News
Credit: World Today News

The Republican-controlled Arizona House on [April 1] approved a sweeping abortion bill that makes it a felony for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy because the child has a survivable genetic abnormality and imposes a raft of other provisions Democrats contend unnecessarily add to the state’s already tough restrictions on abortion.

Opposition by one Republican lawmaker who had been concerned that a woman would have to carry a fetus that could not survive were addressed by an amendment that allows a pregnancy to be terminated in that instance. But Democrats argued the bill still provides for felony charges for doctors and the loophole is so subjective that physicians will be be too scared to provide needed medical care.

“I’m not comfortable, I might have a county attorney slap charges on me,” said Democratic Rep. Randy Friese of Tucson, a trauma surgeon. “I’m not going to provide abortion termination to this patient.”

“The result? The patient carries the child to term and delivers a child that is not viable,” he said. “That is cruel and uncaring.”

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The proposal backed by the social conservative group Center for Arizona Policy also contains a ban on mail delivery of abortion-inducing medication, confers all civil rights to unborn children, [and] allows the father or maternal grandparents of an aborted child to sue.

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