Pro-choice, pro-life supporters weigh in on new Arizona law that bans abortion based on genetic abnormalities

Officials with the Governor's Office announced on April 27 that Governor Doug Ducey has signed a bill on Tuesday that bans abortion in Arizona because of genetic abnormalities.

On his verified Twitter page, Gov. Ducey wrote that "every life holds immeasurable value - regardless of genetic makeup."

Bill supporters, opponents weigh in

People on both sides of the abortion debate weighed in, as news that Gov. Ducey signed the bill spread.

"With Senate Bill 1457, re-born children with treatable genetic conditions like Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis will no longer be subject to abortion and discriminated against in the womb, simply because of their genetic condition," said Cathi Herrod with the Center For Arizona Policy.

Dr. Lisa Kiser, a women's health nurse practitioner, also weighed in on the bill.

"One of most sobering to me is that the bill, which is now law, is requiring that an abortion certificate be signed, but it is listing conditions that is permissible to offer an abortion that go beyond the medical standard of care," said Dr. Kiser. "What I mean by that is that there are conditions that we would absolitely be treating the mother and child to save both of their lives."

As the bil was making its way through the legislature, Republican State Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix said her proposed bill protects the most vulnerable and restores dignity to aborted fetuses by requiring that they be buried or cremated.

"There are incredible numbers of people that appreciate those children that have come into the world with a genetic abnormality like Down (syndrome) or other serious issues that are genetic," said Sen. Barto. "And once they were born, they’ve meant so much to their families, to the world. They’ve gone on to live productive, wonderful lives. That’s what we’re protecting here."

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.

"I’m extremely opposed to any one of us legislators imposing our faith on everybody else and on my family," said Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, a Democrat from Tucson. "We should not be doing this."

Bill also bans some from making abortion referrels

SB1457 will also make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion for that reason, and allow a father or maternal grandparents to sue on behalf of the fetus.

In addition, the new law will prohibit school, college, and university employees from providing abortion referrals and require that fetal remains be buried or cremated. Pharmacies would be prohibited from providing abortion-inducing medications through the mail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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