The Arizona House voted last week to impose new restrictions on women seeking to obtain abortions, including a 24-hour waiting period and what is essentially a mandated anti-choice lecture.
[During the waiting period], the woman would have to be told “the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics” of the unborn child at that point.
The bill also requires that the woman be told, in person, that:
• The father of the child is liable for support, even if he agreed to pay for the abortion.
• Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and postnatal care if they decided against an abortion.
• Public and private agencies can assist the woman before and after the birth, whether she chooses to keep the child or put it up for adoption.
You know, because women are stupid. As Rep. Olivia Cajero noted, “The requirement of a mandated lecture and a 24-hour reflective period is not only insulting but assumes that women do not adequately think through their abortion decisions, and that the state must do their thinking for them.” And Rep. Steve Farley, of Tucson, pointed out that no other medical procedure requires a 24-hour waiting period, including vasectomies and tubal ligations.
The most telling quote in this article about the bill, however, comes from Rep. Frank Antenori, also of Tucson. Rep Antenori says there is “a duty to protect either our wives or our daughters from making decisions that may come back to haunt them further down the road in their lives.” Aren’t you glad that you have big strong men to protect you from scawy things like bodily autonomy?! Jeez, if we didn’t have (male, of course) legislators making decisions about our bodies, what in the world would we do? Okay, snark over – but the fury remains.
(Oh, and the icing on the anti-choice cake? The bill also allows health professionals and pharmacists to refuse to provide emergency contraception, even to rape victims. In fact, they don’t even have to tell women where they can obtain the legal contraceptive elsewhere. Nothing like further traumatizing a rape survivor!)
For ways to get involved, check out NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona.