Abortion bill outrages Arizona Republicans

February 20, 2019

A group of 17 Democrats in the Arizona Legislature have filed a bill that would stop requiring doctors to report whether a fetus was delivered alive during an abortion.

The bill also repeals the 20-week gestational age limit and would strip newborns of their born-alive protections. The Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative lobbying group, says babies that survive an abortion would be allowed to fight for their lives on a table unaided. The bill will be heard and voted on by the Judiciary Committee today at 9:30 a.m.

Republican State Rep. Leo Biasiucci of Lake Havasu City said he opposes HB 2696, calling the bill “disturbing.” The District 5 lawmaker said that many in the Republican caucus are concerned that the bill was introduced.

“I am shocked that this bill was introduced in Arizona,” he said. “HB 2696 would repeal a law that’s been on the books since 1975 requiring doctors to attempt to preserve the life of a baby if they unsuccessfully abort it.”

Kelli Ward, a Havasu physician who recently took over as chair of the Arizona Republican Party, said she was encouraging legislators to let their constituents and the media know about the bill.

“All life is beautiful and should be protected,” Ward said. “With this bill, Arizona Democrat lawmakers have turned their backs on the very members of our society who are unable to defend themselves —innocent babies”

The bill was introduced Feb. 12 by House of Representatives members Raquel Terán (Dist. 30), Richard Andrade (Dist. 29), Isela Blanc (Dist. 26), Minority Whip Reginald Bolding Jr. (Dist. 27), Andres Cano (Dist. 3), Minority Leader Charlene Fernandez (Dist. 4), Randall Friese (Dist. 9), Rosanna Gabaldón (Dist. 2), Daniel Hernandez (Dist. 2), Jennifer Jermaine (Dist. 18), Jennifer Longdon (Dist. 24), Pamela Powers Hannley (Dist. 9), Diego Rodriguez (dist. 27), Minority Whip Athena Salman (Dist. 26), Amish Shah (Dist. 24), Arlondo Teller(Dist. 7) and Myron Tsosie (Dist. 7).

Even if the bill passes the Judiciary Committee, it would have a tough time surviving the rest of the legislative process. The Arizona House has 29 Democrats and 31 Republicans. The Senate also has a Republican majority and Gov. Doug Ducey, whose signature is required for a bill to pass, is also a Republican.

Attempts to reach members of the Mohave County Democratic Central Committee for comment about the legislation after 5 p.m. Tuesday were unsuccessful.