Pro-Life Win!: AZ Senate Passes Bill Banning Abortion on Babies With Down Syndrome

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In another pro-life win, Arizona state Senate passes a bill that would ban discriminatory abortions on unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome and other genetic disorders.

Senate Bill 1457, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Pheonix, passed in Arizona Senate and is advancing to the state House. If enacted, the bill would protect unborn children diagnosed with genetic disorders by making it a crime to abort them. Exceptions are permitted in select cases when the mother’s life is threatened. Arizona already prohibits discriminatory abortion on a sex and race basis.

Barto spoke on the bill, saying: “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, 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.”

SB1457 also prohibits dangerous abortion drugs from being delivered by mail and public schools from referring students to abortion. In addition, it requires that the remains of aborted babies be cremated or buried.

Capitol Media Services reports:

At the heart of SB 1457 is a legislative declaration that Arizona laws recognize that an unborn child has “all rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state.” The only limits would be the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Efforts by Barto and allies to outlaw abortion entirely have been thwarted by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision of the high court and its successor rulings which say, in essence, that women have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy prior to a fetus becoming viable. So Barto is focused on a narrow subset of abortions: those done by a woman who is carrying a child with a genetic abnormality.”

Though the bill passed in the Senate, plenty of dissenting opinions were presented. State Sen Sally Ann Gonzales opposed the bill for her 15 daughters and granddaughters. “I’m extremely opposed to any one of us legislators imposing our faith on everybody else and on my family,” Gonzales said. “We should not be doing this.”

Planned Parenthood publicly announced their opposition to the bill as a spokesperson claimed it was a “cruel attempt” to restrict abortion.

President of the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy, Cathi Herrod, expressed that the bill only supports mothers and children. “There’s a nationwide push to send abortion pills through the mail,” Herrod stated. “Women who take chemical abortion pills are four times more likely to have complications than those that have surgical abortions.”

SB1457, if passed, will add Arizona to the list of states putting forward laws regulating abortion drugs and protecting the unborn from deadly discrimination.




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