The state of Arizona has recently amended its abortion laws, with several key points changed in order to make abortions more difficult to legally obtain. Most ridiculously, the law defines the “gestational age” of the fetus to be “as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman”.
Goodness knows what the legislators will do when faced with women who continue to have periods after they become pregnant, or people with medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome who often don’t have regular periods. Let’s not even get into how they plan to monitor it, either - are they going to check people’s shopping lists for tampons? Go through their rubbish?
When coupled with a new law stating that (except in the case of medical emergency) terminations must occur before 20 weeks gestation, the result is that women could have much less time to find out as much information as possible in regards to their health care options, as well as the health care options of their unborn baby (ie medical conditions which cannot be tested for before 18 weeks gestation).
As well as this, women are also no longer allowed to use drugs to procure an abortion further than 30 miles away from a hospital. This means that any health clinics which are further than 30 miles from a hospital can no longer legally offer non-surgical, non-invasive abortions. Doctors are also no longer able to assist in procedures further than 30 miles from the hospital they work at.
Another major change is that all women seeking a termination must undergo an ultrasound (though not necessarily a trans-vaginal one, unlike Virginia). Previously, this was a requirement only when the fetus was at over 12 weeks gestation.
Finally, the law now states that women who seek an abortion because their fetus has a lethal condition and will not live outside of the womb must be informed of “alternatives” such as perinatal hospice facilities - encouraging women to carry a baby which has no chance of survival to full term, then keep it in a health facility until it inevitably dies.
The amendments in question can be found HERE at the official Arizona legislation website.