Arizona State Senate approves anti-abortion bill

The Arizona Senate has approved a measure banning abortions because of Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities and making other changes to abortion laws.

Republicans approved the measure in a 16-14 party-line vote on March 4. The measure would allow the father or maternal grandparents to sue on behalf of a fetus and would prohibit pharmacies from providing abortion-inducing drugs through the mail. Fetal remains would have to be buried or cremated.

It also would repeal laws punishing women for getting abortions, leaving penalties against doctors who provide them if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns or narrows the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. Conservatives are hopeful that a Supreme Court that moved to the right during Donald Trump’s presidency would allow states like Arizona to be more aggressive in restricting abortions.

Abortion-rights advocates say the bill is an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s right to have an abortion before a fetus is viable. A physician testified that it would chill the First Amendment rights of doctors to honestly provide medical advice to their patients.

Democrats said the Legislature should be focused on providing support for families with disabled children, not interfering with a woman’s choice about whether to end a pregnancy.

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