Rep. Matt Heinz: Abortion Bill Could Destroy UA's OB/GYN Program

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Tessa Muggeridge of Cronkite News Service updates us on the abortion bills moving through the Legislature—including one that could have dire consequences on the UA College of Medicine's OB/GYN program.

The state House on Monday approved and forwarded to the Senate two bills that would further limit abortion in Arizona.

HB 2416, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, would require doctors to perform an ultrasound at least one hour before an abortion and point out the fetus’ extremities and offer the woman an opportunity to listen to the heartbeat and take a photo home. It would also change the definition of abortion to include abortion by pill and would bar doctors from using telemedicine to administer abortion by pill remotely.

HB 2384, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would ban public funding or tax credits from being used to provide, pay for, promote, provide coverage of or provide referrals for abortions. It also would ban state universities and community colleges from using state funding or tuition money to train students to perform abortions.

Both bills passed with a 40-18 vote mostly along party lines, with all Republicans and Democrats Catherine Miranda of Phoenix and Anna Tovar of Tolleson voting in support. Tovar and Miranda didn’t explain their votes.

Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson, a hospital doctor, spoke out against both measures, at one point even suggesting that the Legislature place an outright ban on abortion and let the courts decide rather than waste time considering abortion bills instead of the state’s suffering budget.