Law requires women to fill out “check list” justifying their personal decision to have an abortion
PHOENIX, AZ -- On Saturday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey quietly signed a law that would require people seeking an abortion to report personal medical information in a questionnaire, including why they’re seeking an abortion and information about past pregnancies and abortions. The questionnaireincludes a checklist of “reasons” a person may seek an abortion, including “economic reasons, the woman does not want children at this time, the woman’s emotional health is at stake, the woman’s physical health is at stake, the pregnancy was the result of rape, the pregnancy was the result of incest, the pregnancy resulted in fetal anomalies, relationship issues” and more. Abortion providers must then share this information with the state government. While the physician can indicate that the woman declined to give her reason, the list is clearly intended to collect personal information for the state, as well as to shame a woman who has already chosen to have an abortion.
Just a few weeks ago, Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana signed a similar anti-abortion law that was a disturbing overreach of government power. However, these bills and other abortion reporting requirement bills have been soundly rejected by medical experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Safety-net community organizations like the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence also agree that this bill aims to only further stigmatize and harass patients.
Abortion is more than 99 percent safe, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical experts. There are already robust systems put in place by the CDC and others for collecting information on abortion to ensure and continually improve safety. In fact, a recent landmark report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine confirmed that abortions in the United States are very safe and lead to few complications.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
This invasive law would force people seeking an abortion to share personal information with the government, including disclosing why they’re seeking an abortion.This bill is a blatant attempt to invade people’s privacy and to shame and judge women who make the decision to end a pregnancy. This is another case of politicians trying to take away our rights and control our bodies, and women will not stand for it.
Statement from Jodi Liggett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona:
It’s no wonder Gov. Ducey signed this intrusive law behind closed doors. SB 1394 is a bill that proponents claim is about women’s health and safety. Let’s be clear: This law, along with the dozens of other laws passed in recent years, will not improve the lives or health care for people who need it in the state. No mainstream medical organization supports this bill. Instead of shaming and harassing women seeking health care, we urge policymakers to focus on respectful solutions that increase access to birth control and help women who want to plan or prevent pregnancy to do so.
This bill is part of a broader agenda by extreme politicians to restrict access to safe, legal abortion. In recent years, politicians at the state level have passed more than 400 restrictions on safe, legal abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. In Arizona alone, politicians have passed 12 restrictions on reproductive health care in recent years, including a forced delay and prohibiting insurance plans from offering coverage for abortion.
The same politicians trying to ban safe, legal abortion are also working to limit women’s access to contraception. Just last week during floor debate, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth stated: “Having access to contraception is not a health care issue.” Gynecologists and women everywhere beg to differ. Birth control is health care, which is why mainstream medical organizations advocate for meaningful access to birth control. It is one of the key factors enabling our country to achieve the lowest unintended pregnancy and abortion rates in decades.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood‘s advocacy and political arm in Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAA), is the state’s largest nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care. PPAA is fighting for every person’s freedom and right to make reproductive choices, enjoy sexual health and wellbeing, and build healthy, strong families. Advocatesaz.org