Arizona bill that bans most abortions after 15 weeks heads to governor’s desk


Legislators in Arizona passed a bill on Thursday that would result in a near-total ban on abortions in the state after 15 weeks.

The law, one of several anti-abortion restrictions advanced by Republican-led states this week, is similar to a Mississippi ban that is currently before the Supreme Court and seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Arizona law makes an exception for medical emergencies and requires physicians to file a report with the Arizona Department of Health Services if an abortion is performed after 15 weeks. There is no exception for cases of rape and incest.

The bill makes it a felony for physicians to knowingly violate the new statute, but the bill says that no criminal punishment can be directed toward the maternal patient. Physicians could also face consequences such as having their license to practice medicine in the state suspended or revoked, along with fines if they are found to have given false information on forms related to the abortion.

Arizona’s GOP-controlled House passed the legislation in a 31-26 party-line vote. The bill, which was passed in the Arizona Senate last month, now heads to the office of Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who has previously advocated for anti-abortion restrictions.

CNN has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

Arizona Senate Democrats expressed outrage over the bill’s passage on Thursday, tweeting, “the anti-choice, anti-freedom agenda behind these extreme bans is out of touch with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the right to abortion.”

Arizona is now one of several GOP-led states, along with West Virginia and Florida, to advance a 15-week abortion ban bill this session. Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court appears poised to uphold a similar Mississippi law that bars abortion after 15 weeks. The fate of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, also hangs in the balance, and anti-abortion activists are hopeful that the court’s conservative majority will strike it down.

Various Republican-led states have toughened restrictions on abortion this week alone. On Wednesday, Idaho’s GOP governor signed a law that prohibits abortions after any fetal cardiac activity has been detected, Oklahoma passed a bill that would lead to a near-total ban on abortion, and South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill that aims to make it more difficult for pregnant women to obtain abortion medication.

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