Arizona lawmakers have approved a bill that would mandate abortion providers and physicians to request information from women undergoing abortions about their reasons to abort, and to provide comprehensive information about the risks of abortion.
“What this bill does, it upgrades and updates the way we ask these questions in order to make sure that we’re getting accurate information,” state Sen. Nancy Barto, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said, according to U.S. News & World Report. “It’s important in order for us to really understand policymaking going forward and how to better serve women in the policies that go to protecting the unborn when they choose abortion.”
The state Senate passed the bill by a vote of 16-12 , with only one Republican and one Democrat breaking ranks.
The bill—Senate Bill 1394—lists 11 potential reasons for getting an abortion, including questions about the woman’s emotional and physical health, according to the Arizona Republic. Reasons also include not being able to afford a child, not wanting a child, being raped, a husband having an extramarital affair, and abuse.
“Better data means better service,” Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod said, according to the Republic.
Herrod said doctors would be required to keep patients’ names and other identifiable information confidential, and that the information would be used only to make health services better and would not pose a privacy concern.
Sen. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who voted against the measure, said she sees the bill as an attempt to shame women for aborting. She said it would result in dissuading women who have legitimate reasons for aborting from doing so.
“Arizonans are really tired of this unnecessary overreach into people’s personal, private medical decisions,” Hobbs said. “These additional reporting requirements provide absolutely zero, zero public health benefits or purpose.”
Given that abortion is legal, she said, the state has no right to insist a woman give her reasons for why she is aborting her unborn child.
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