Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Abortion Restrictions Bill is Getting Closer to Ducey's Desk

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 12:22 PM

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Oh, Arizona Legislature.

At this point, it is all but unsurprising that a bill (backed by the conservative group the Center for Arizona Policy) prohibiting health insurance plans under Obamacare from providing abortion coverage is very, very close to Gov. Doug Ducey's desk. A primary argument of proponents is that we shouldn't have to "pay for abortions" using taxpayer money. 

As of this morning, the state House added a few amendments that the state Senate now has to agree with, or not. But if they do, the legislation is headed to Ducey's office for a signature. 

Here are some of the amendments:

About two weeks ago, state Rep. Victoria Steele opened up about her experience as a victim of rape while testifying against the bill. “This bill would require women who are seeking an abortion after being traumatized by rape or incest to share personal, private and emotional information with an insurance company if they want coverage for the procedure. It will force victims to suffer another trauma," she told a House committee at the time. There is an amendment now that would allow abortion coverage for women who are pregnant as a result of rape.

Doctors would have to tell their patients that the could reverse the effects of abortion-inducing medication should the patients change their mind about going through with the procedure. 

Also, they have to give the state Department of Health Services documentation proving they have hospital admitting privileges, meaning the physician has to be allowed to admit patients to a certain hospital and offer specific services in that hospital. In exchange for this provision, the state House had to get rid of language that made it OK to publish doctors' personal information. 

The bill is heading back to the state Senate, where they have to vote on the amendments. If these don't pass, a committee will have to work out the differences. It'd be in Ducey's hands after that.

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