Arizona Heartbeat Act: Pro-choice group concerned over bill that aims to stop most abortions in the state

A bill to ban most abortions in the State of Arizona has been introduced to the state legislature.

The bill, called the Arizona Heartbeat Act, limits how long a woman can wait to determine if they will end the pregnancy through abortion. Some other rules within the bill include:

  • "…a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detects a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child." (Section 36-2323)
  • "Statutory damages in an amount of $10,000 or more for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced in violation of title 36, chapter 23, article 3 and for each abortion performed or induced in violation of title 36, chapter 23, article 3 in which the defendant aided or abetted." (Section 12-783)
  • "Notwithstanding any other law, a civil action under this section may not be brought by a person who impregnated the abortion patient through an act of sexual assault or incest." (Section 12-783)

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Pro-choice advocates say if something like this passes, it could put women's lives at risk.

"It really forces people to make hard decisions," said Murphy Bannerman with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona. "Either they are going to have to go out of state to get the care they need -- they have seen that in Texas, and people are having to go to neighboring states to get the care they need, and it makes it hard for those who don't have the resources to commute out of state."

We have reached out to the main sponsor of House Bill 2483, State Rep. Teresa Martinez, and we are waiting to hear back.

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