Anti-abortion bill is cruel, unnecessary, dishonest
It is impossible to be cruel, intimidating, dishonest and at the same time ... moral.
But each year, the Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature give it a try, almost always in the form of some new anti-abortion legislation.
And almost always the politicians are acting at the behest of the Center for Arizona Policy, the conservative anti-abortion lobbying group with strings attached to Republican politicians from the governor on down, manipulating them like perfect little puppets.
Last year, it was a new law that will add more pain to grieving couples who, for medical reasons, must terminate a pregnancy and who have nothing to do with the abortion battle.
This time around, the state House passed a variation of Senate Bill 1394 that includes a series of unnecessary questions that must be put to women seeking abortion services.
Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, which pushed the original bill, said the purpose of the legislation was to provide “better service” for women seeking abortions.
That isn’t what Herrod or her group want, however. They want no service. They should just admit it. Own it. So, too, should their puppets in the Legislature.
Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth said, “What this bill is about is getting information. And I believe there are those of you who believe that abortion is the safest. And maybe it is. Maybe it is because we require reporting.”
It’s not about getting information, either.
It’s about intimidation. About making a patient and her doctor uncomfortable.
The patient would be asked whether the abortion is health-related or elective. There would be questions about rape and incest and domestic violent and even sex trafficking. And the women would be asked if she was being coerced into having the procedure.
If the bill is that useful, why is the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence opposing it?
Jason Vail Cruz, the coalition’s sexual-violence policy coordinator, said the group worries forcing victims to disclose an assault when they haven’t chosen to do so could be retraumatizing.
Vail Cruz said, “It really adds another layer of trauma to a situation that’s already fraught with a lot of stigma and nerves. This is just an overreach.”
So instead of providing useful information or useful service the patient and her physician would be coerced into answering questions that no one in the Legislature — or anyone else — has any business knowing.
Rep. Athena Salman, a Democrat, described it this way: “This bill would
intimidate patients, intimidate women who are seeking abortion services, and it also makes providing an abortion more onerous to providers.” She’s right.
If the bill’s sponsors, supporters and creators said as much, the legislation would still be cruel and unnecessary. But at least they’d be honest about it.