Arizona House passes abortion restrictions

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.

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37 Comments

  1. norbizness
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Ah, unintended consequences: when the President appointed Janet Napolitano as head of Homeland Security, the Republican secretary of state became Arizona governor. Which means that if this passes the Senate, I don’t think this governor vetoes it like Secretary Napolitano did all those years.
    Expect the same in Kansas (another predominantly Republican state with an inexplicable Democratic governor) if Governor Sebelius (sp) gets the HHS position.

  2. Entomology Girl
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Once again I’m ashamed to be an Arizonan.
    Thank god I’m getting out soon. (Incidentally, I’ll be leaving just in time so that while the state funded my education, they won’t see a whit of my expertise, or my spending money. Screw em.)

  3. gordon.gecko
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Jeez, if we didn’t have (male, of course) legislators making decisions about our bodies, what in the world would we do?
    That’s a little rash. Most polls show women to be much more anti-abortion than men.

  4. Punchbuggy Green
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that’s true. What polls are you talking about?

  5. MissKittyFantastico
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m also curious to see a poll. I could believe it either way, actually. Men might be more against abortion because its not THEIR bodies that are under attack, but on the other hand, men who do have pre-marital sex are usually terrified of knocking up some girl and would love for her to get an abortion so they don’t have to deal with it. On the other hand, there are obvious reasons for women to be pro-choice, but there are also reasons some of them are anti-choice — if they’ve been raised to believe, or have actually followed through on, the idea that if they get pregnant they have to keep the child, then they might be really resentful of the idea that someone else doesn’t have to. Or they might confuse their adorable little baby with a 3 week old fetus. That last one probably goes for both genders though.
    This is all speculation. I’d really like to see some data to answer it.

  6. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with the bullet-point items, especially #1. I’ve talked to women who believe what someone else (often the father) tells them about child support. I can see a woman (especially one who was young with little support) making the decision to abort because she erroneously believed she wouldn’t be able to seek financial support.
    Having become some sort of go to person for women who found themselves pregnant on my college campus, a lot of them were uninformed about social services available to them. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that pregnant women don’t need to be told about the services. I’d rather women know about all of their options fully before making a decision rather than making it because they don’t know what else to do.
    I’ve never quite understood the logic of mandatory waiting periods since I would assume most women consider the choice before going to a clinic. I’m not sure there are many women who toss the pg test in the trash and head out immediately. (And if they do, then they’ve likely already made up their minds.)
    The parts I find really frightening are the refusal of EC (which I really though SCOTUS already ruled against) and telling women about the “probable anatomical characteristics.” No one told me that for my born children, so I can’t imagine what your public reason for telling a woman who’s considering abortion is. (I get the real reason; I’m more curious about the spin.)

  7. gordon.gecko
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Here is one.
    I have also seen a Pew poll from 2004 that said 33% of women strongly oppose abortion versus 26% of men.

  8. Caro
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, this is so annoying. I do think women should have access to accurate and complete information (and I stress accurate) about their rights to child support, prenatal and postnatal care, other forms of public assistance, and adoption options if they were to carry a pregnancy to term. I certainly don’t think, however, that women and their doctors should be forced to go through lecture on it — it’s absolutely insulting. But the information should be more readily accessible to women who are trying to decide whether or not they want to continue a pregnancy — and of course that there should be more programs to help pregnant women and new mothers in the first place.

  9. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an example:
    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/poll_abortionrights010122.html
    In most polls I’ve seen, men’s support is slighly higher than women’s but still within the margin of error.

  10. Kat
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The problem with this is that there AREN’T any real social programs to help them in Arizona, especially since the Budget crisis for the state is REALLY bad and all of them have been cut.

  11. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes, you’re right, and I should have stressed more that I’m talking about accurate information (as in: not from crisis pregnancy centers). Jessica used the word “lecture,” but that’s not the same as informing someone of the options she has.
    It’s important to me to remember that choice means more than having an abortion. Carrying a pregnancy to term is a choice, too, and I think providing full information is important. A good healthcare provider would be able to talk to women about the various options they have without coming across as preaching about them or encouraging one decision over the other.

  12. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    At the very least, you still have WIC, TANF, and those types of programs, yes? Medicaid is now available to almost all pregnant women, but girls who’ve been covered under their parents’ insurance may not know that.

  13. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Also, I agree that there should be more programs available to help new moms. I’m in the process right now of putting together this type of program in my city geared toward young mothers. There is absolutely nothing here for young moms who may want/need help.

  14. gordon.gecko
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    That link is messed up.
    Here it is again.
    Here is the Pew poll.
    When you get more nuanced questions yes the margin of error becomes a concern but from looking at several polls it seems the strongest opposition to abortion comes from women.
    But more importantly if you read that Pew poll it is, perhaps intuitively, the women who vote on this issue. So to blame anti-abortion on men (male, of course!) is a tad disingenuous. And I say this as a stereotypical pro-choice male.

  15. Gopher
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Isnt there a stat that says ’77% of anti-choice leaders are men.’ I doubt women would be more anti-choice than men.

  16. gordon.gecko
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  17. idiolect
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    What does this “24 hour waiting period” really mean? Those of us lucky enough to live in urban areas and have a certain amount of money available can get all up in arms about how this is insulting to our intelligence and responsibility over our own bodies, which it is, but I think there’s a huge problem being overlooked here — any policy that demands a “waiting period” disproportionately affects the already disadvantaged, especially the rural poor. How are you supposed to wait around for 24 hours if you’re already stretching your means to the limit just to be able to get there in the first place?

  18. idiolect
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Also, I love this:
    Rep. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, said 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.”
    I mean, that basically amounts to “protecting” “our wives or our daughters” (I guess women who don’t have fathers or husbands around don’t count, and maybe even those who do but who aren’t ours don’t either — see also my above comment, perhaps) against making decisions in general. I mean, it’s the very nature of a decision that it somehow affects what happens “further down the road,” and since we’re not omniscient, sometimes people make mistakes “that may come back to haunt them.” But we do what we can, and our doing-what-we-can as women is just as good as the doing-what-we-can of the men.
    I mean, this just seems appallingly transparent, this weird paternalistic don’t-worry-yer-pretty-little-head-darlin’ stuff. I suppose I can’t [directly] stop Rep. Antenori from treating his own family that way, but keep it in your own house, don’t smear your masculine insecurities all over our legislation. Ew.

  19. Steph
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Here here.

  20. mizbinkley
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    What if they had to read info like…
    Should you keep your child, there is a higher likelihood that both you and your child will live in poverty.
    Or, if the child put up for adoption is a boy of color, he has a less likely chance of being adopted.
    Or, [if applicable] our state has banned gay adoption, reducing the chances your child will be adopted.
    There’s nothing wrong with providing people with the facts. The problem is legislators picking and choosing what facts to provide in a medical setting so as to manipulate the outcome of an individual’s decision.

  21. Erin
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree – if you’re going to provide facts, make sure they’re comprehensive and medically accurate (like sex ed!) These bullet points are essentially poo-poo-ing the negative consequences of parenting an unwanted child, and making these women think that the father/government will always be there to take care of them and their baby. (Incidentally, the same legislators who are advocating telling women about government assistance and suing the father for child support are the same ones that want to cut poverty benefits, social welfare programs, and institute lawsuit reform that makes it harder to collect large amounts of damages. Irony, thy name is Republican.) If you’re going to give any sort of informed consent, it should explain the risks of choosing the procedure AND choosing not to have the procedure.

  22. Pencils
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    If these forced-pregnancy advocates really cared about women and children, it wouldn’t be that there may be medical and financial assistance available, it WOULD available. All they really want to do is control women’s lives, and punish them for choosing to have sex. BTW, I’m typing this with one hand while holding my precious, chosen baby girl with the other. All babies deserve to be as loved and wanted as she is.

  23. Opheelia
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. Arizona is a HUGE geographical area. People could be driving for five or six hours just to get services if they live in rural areas. Furthermore, there is legislation that will make it so that nurse practitioners can no longer perform surgical abortion. There are only 2 doctors in the entire state that do them; this is eliminating abortion for women who don’t live in Phoenix or Tucson.
    And what about rural women who are victims of violence? Sabatoging contraception is a common form of abuse, and these women may only have an extremely small window in which they can escape to find services to terminate an unwanted pregancy.

  24. Opheelia
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Cash assistance and prenatal care and services for infants have been reduced, prevention programs aimed at at-risk children have been eliminated, and our education programs have been gutted. Services to children with disabilites have been reduced or eliminated. They are cutting state funds and backfilling with federal dollars wherever they can.
    This is the worst place in the nation to be poor or disabled right now.
    And they don’t care that they’re arguably breaking the law by cutting these things and breaking contracts concerning voter-protected services. This legislature is terrifying. And I emphasize that it’s the legislature who did this, not the state agencies who made the cuts. The budget placed DES and DHS in a hopeless position.

  25. baddesignhurts
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    ah, if only #1 were true.
    i live in arizona, and i had an abortion as my marriage was failing. when going through my divorce, i was told that, in this state, at the time, if my ex-husband severed his parental rights to our daughter, i would realistically never see a dime of child support. it’s already like getting blood from a stone to get him to pay for the one we have, never mind if i’d had another.
    and, in addition, since i “voluntarily quit my job” to return to graduate school, my portion of financial responsibility is figured at my old salary and goes up every year (since i’m living on student loans and teaching assistant wages, that SUCKS), but when my ex-husband got fired for getting in a fight at work, his child support obligation was reduced. ***sigh***
    if anyone in arizona needs an abortion, i’ll drive ya. or you can spend the night at my house.
    i miss gov. napolitano.

  26. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    #1 is true. Being able to get child support is different from being able to court order it. My understanding of #1 (and I’ve seen this happen) is where a guy says “I said I’d pay for an abortion. If you don’t get it, then you can’t come after me for child support.” That’s not true, and I think young women in particular need to be aware of that. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems with getting child support. Of course there are, but informing someone of the legalities involved isn’t unnecessary lecturing.

  27. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Good Lord, that’s terrible! We haven’t faced any real cuts to services here (in Kentucky). I think our governor has been fairly responsible in cuts to things that were luxuries (like charging admission this year for a breakfast before the Ky Derby that the state’s always provided for free). I’m totally okay with freeing up that $200,000 in the budget.

  28. Brandi
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Providing other information doesn’t change my opinion that information about keeping the babe and adoption should be provided, assuming of course that it’s fact. For example, your first statement isn’t a fact in all circumstances. If you’re a young single mama, then it’s true. If you’re a middle-class married woman who for whatever reason is considering abortion, then it’s not necessarily true.
    If I got pregnant again, I would probably have an abortion because I suffered from postpartum psychosis and ended up in a psychiatric center after my daughter’s birth, but I also cannot take hormonal birth control. So an abortion is the only logical option since cellibacy’s not appealing. Still if I did decide to have my child, s/he wouldn’t be living in poverty or anywhere near it.
    I do think you bring up an interesting point, however, in that both sides should be presented fully. Indeed they should, but I think abortion is a significant enough decision for enough women that the decision deserves more than cursory discussion.

  29. WickedAnnabella
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Arizona legislators, sometimes women regret having an abortion. But guess what? Sometimes women regret having kids. Several of my older female relatives told me that if they could live their lives over, they would remain childless. Maybe we should require doctors to tell all pregnant women that if if they go through with their pregnancies, their decision “may come back to haunt them further down the road in their lives.”

  30. Maeve
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I know this is none of my business, but have you considered an IUD for your method of birth control? Paraguard doesn’t have any hormones, and it has about the same rate of effectiveness as hormonal BC does.
    Also, I agree that I think it’s a good idea to tell women facts about collecting child support, adoption options, and offering women state funded prenatal care, etc. However, if the state is severely cutting these plans then it seems kind of pointless and possibly misleading to inform women seeking abortions about these options. I definitely don’t support the other parts of this plan.

  31. Zardoz
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    And if we can’t find anyone to love you as much as we believe you deserve, we’ll kill you.

  32. Zardoz
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I love this comment:
    “Men might be more against abortion because its not THEIR bodies that are under attack, but on the other hand, men who do have pre-marital sex are usually terrified of knocking up some girl and would love for her to get an abortion so they don’t have to deal with it.”
    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, fellas!

  33. Zardoz
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I love this comment:
    Men might be more against abortion because its not THEIR bodies that are under attack, but on the other hand, men who do have pre-marital sex are usually terrified of knocking up some girl and would love for her to get an abortion so they don’t have to deal with it.
    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, fellas!

  34. Zardoz
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Whether you support abortion rights or oppose them, if you’re a man it’s for the wrong reasons.

  35. Anon117
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Here is an e-mail I sent to my representative Frank Antenori. I also tried to contact my other representativee before the vote on this horrible law, but I received no response from either of them.
    “Dear Representative Antenori,
    I have written and called you as my duly elected representative in Arizona.
    I have not received the courtesy of a reply; however, I will try again.
    I have a college degree with honors.
    I graduated law school in the top 15 % of my class.
    My degrees are from well known and highly rated universities.
    I have significant life experiences including a very high profile career handling complicated mergers and acquisitions all over the world. In my career, I have been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, I have been responsible for a staff of more than 50 people-again scattered all over the world.
    I have traveled and read extensively and continue my education in various subjects such as philosophy, religion, history etc.
    I am married and have children.
    My IQ has tested at very high levels on standardized IQ tests.
    Now, it has come to my attention that you believe that you have “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.”
    I am quite comfortable making my own decisions without your protection. However, since you feel I need protection, I would appreciate knowing what your qualifications are to so protect me. Perhaps you could take an IQ test? Or, perhaps you would be so kind as to send me your school transcripts? Or maybe your work evaluations?
    I certainly would appreciate the courtesy of a response- as despite what you may think, women still have the right to vote- without your “protection”.”

  36. Anon117
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Nancy Barto would respond thusly (this in response to the right of pharmacists to refuse to provide emergency contraception- which is also a provision of the bill)
    “The prime sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. Nancy Barto, downplayed any hurdles the provision would represent.
    “Certainly, people in rural areas are accustomed to traveling long distances for services,” said Barto, R-Phoenix. “This isn’t going to keep women from receiving these prescriptions.” ”
    Lovely woman, eh?

  37. BBCaddict
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    “• The father of the child is liable for support, even if he agreed to pay for the abortion.”
    What the EFF?
    So- the conservabots bitch and moan about “welfare queens” and women who *gasp* have different chyldruun by different menz!
    And- then they say “He’s liable ladies! Just think! A MAN to SUPPORT yew and teh baybee! Why- we know you didn’t really want a penis in you unless there was some kinda payout!”
    DAMN. >: (

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