Heartbeat abortions: Arizona legislature rejects bill that would have banned abortions as early as five weeks into pregnancy

Credit: Jim Young/Reuters
Credit: Jim Young/Reuters

[Arizona] Senate President Karen Fann told Capitol Media Services [April 6] she will not allow House Bill 2140 to come to the floor for debate. It would have outlawed abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat could be conducted, as early as five weeks into pregnancy.

“This bill was not vetted properly with stakeholders to ensure it is constitutional,” Sen. Fann said. And there clearly was a consensus, even among supporters, that the measure would have run up against U.S. Supreme Court precedents dating back nearly half a century.

Sen. Fann’s decision does not mean an end to new abortion restrictions this session.


The Senate already has approved a measure making it a felony to terminate a pregnancy because of a fetal genetic defect.

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[A] lobbyist who represents doctors [says they] would be placed in positions of having to determine whether exceptions to save the life of the mother would be allowed.

“They’re going to face potential criminal liability and severe civil liability if they make a decision to save the life of the mother and somebody second-guesses that decision later,” Steve Barclay said. “That could put more mothers in real danger because I think you’re going to have fewer neonatologists doing their jobs in these high-risk pregnancies.”


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