Arizona law redefines pregnancy timeline

Arizona lawmakers have passed three anti-abortion bills, including one declaring that a pregnancy begin two weeks before conception, according to the Huffington Post.

The new law, titled Women’s Health and Safety Act, was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and went into effect Aug 29.

According to the Examiner, “The bill was sponsored by Arizona State Rep. Kimberly Yee.

Yee is also an ardent supporter of drug testing anyone who receives welfare assistance.”

Cynde Cerf, director of communications & marketing for Planned Parenthood Arizona told The Guilfordian that “the doctors represented by the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have stood up for all women in this state by challenging this unconstitutional law.”

Cerf said that Arizona’s abortion ban has several damaging provisions that pose a threat to women’s health. The provision that bans abortion at 20 weeks is a particularly “cruel and dangerous attack on women’s health.”

The law now requires any women who want to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure. The old law would allow abortions to be performed up until the time that the fetus could “reasonably survive outside the womb, “ the Examiner said.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona subsequently sued to challenge an Arizona law banning pre-viability abortions on behalf of two Arizona doctors whose patients include women who seek this procedure.

While the outcome of this new law is uncertain, more debate is likely as the appeal progresses through the courts.