Abort Mission

Written by Mike Meyer Category: Valley News Issue: February 2019
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A new state law that went into effect the first week of January legally requires doctors to ask women seeking abortions the following questions: “Is it an elective abortion, or is it because of health concerns? Was the pregnancy a result of circumstances like sexual assault, sex trafficking or domestic violence?” Patients can refuse to answer, but the Center for Arizona Policy, which helped craft the legislation, told the Arizona Capitol Times that the answers could help the Arizona Department of Health Services “monitor the long-term changes in overall incidence of abortion in Arizona.” Critics say it’s just one more way conservative politicians are attempting to limit abortion access by harassing women. Planned Parenthood Arizona told the Capitol Times that the new law is unnecessary because providers already have sensitivity training for sexual assault survivors. “Our providers, if they have any suspicion whatsoever, provide information and referrals to folks,” a spokesperson said. Arizona is also one of just nine states that requires abortion providers to encourage patients to view an ultrasound before their procedure, another piece of legislation seen by pro-choice activists as an unnecessary shaming tactic. If shame is the intent, it might not be the effect. A recent study published in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that showing patients ultrasounds before their procedure didn’t dissuade the overwhelming majority of pregnant women from having abortions.