New law bans abortions based on genetic abnormalities, requires burial of fetal remains
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday signed a sweeping anti-abortion bill that bans the procedure if it's performed solely on the basis of a genetic abnormality, such as Down Syndrome.
“There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup,” said Governor Ducey. “We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives. My sincere thanks to Senator Nancy Barto for her leadership and work on this life-saving issue.”
The bill does not apply to cases where a fetus has a non-survivable condition. Nor does it apply to cases where a mother's life and health are at risk. However, the measure does includes a host of other provisions supported by pro-life groups, including a requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated. The new law also confers full civil rights on a fetus.
The measure was championed by pro-life Republicans in the state legislature. Ducey, also a pro-life Republican, has never vetoed a piece of anti-abortion legislation.
Democrats say the law is a direct assault on a woman's right to choose. In a written statement from Arizona House Democrats, House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding writes:
"At a time when women have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, it's disturbing and wrong that the legislature is not focusing on policies to help hem, and instead is stripping away the fundamental freedom to choose if, when, and how to start or grow a family."-Rep. Reginald Bolding, (D-Dist 27), House Democratic Leader
The governor's office points out he signed SB 1254 just days ago. The law ensures women have easy access to information on both adoption and the state resources available to pregnant women. Earlier this month Ducey signed off on a measure extending the time during which a baby can be turned over to a Safe Haven program. Previously mothers had 72 hours to surrender a child. They now have 30 days.