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Ariz. House Passes Bill That Would Add Several New Abortion Restrictions

Ariz. House Passes Bill That Would Add Several New Abortion Restrictions

March 25, 2015 — The Arizona House on Monday voted 33-24 to pass a bill (SB 1338) that includes several antiabortion-rights provisions, the AP/Miami Herald reports. The bill now returns to the state Senate, which will consider whether to approve the state House's changes and send the bill to Gov. Doug Ducey (R) (Christie, AP/Miami Herald, 3/24).

Abortion Coverage Provision

One provision in the bill aims to bar women in the state from purchasing health plans that include abortion coverage on the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) insurance marketplace. The restrictions would not apply to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or when a pregnancy threatens a woman's life (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/16).

State Rep. Victoria Steele (D), who opposed the bill, said that a woman would have to prove to her insurer that she qualifies for an exemption to the coverage restrictions (Pitzl, Arizona Republic, 3/24). "That is a cruel joke, because imagine that someone, your daughter, is pregnant as the result of a rape. They would need to talk to their insurance company to prove they qualify for this exemption? How humiliating, how traumatizing that is," Steele said.

Medication Abortion Provision

In addition, the bill also includes a provision that would require physicians to tell women medically unproven statements about being able to reverse a medication abortion (AP/Miami Herald, 3/24).

Specifically, providers would be required to state that administering high doses of progesterone could reverse a medication abortion (Arizona Republic, 3/24).

Opponents of the provision have said it is wrong to put unproven medical directions into state law.

State Rep. Regina Cobb (R), who voted for the bill but opposed the provision, said that by "putting it into statute and putting it on the [state] website, what we're insinuating [is] that we do have the background science for this" (AP/Miami Herald, 3/24).

Meanwhile, state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R), who supported the provision, said, "It does not dictate any practice of medicine, it is simply disclosure."

Admitting Privileges Provision

The bill also would require that physicians provide documentation to the state Department of Health Services showing that they have hospital admitting privileges, according to the Arizona Republic (Arizona Republic, 3/24).

State House lawmakers stripped out language that would have made the names and addresses of abortion providers public (AP/Miami Herald, 3/24).