Dianne Post speaking at House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee March 14, 2018

According to Cathy Herod, the Center for Arizona Policy scoured the country to find abortion regulations to add to Arizona – already one of the most regulated in the country. The bill, SB1394 to require women to divulge why they want to have an abortion and adding unnecessary reporting requirements to doctors and facilities, was introduced by Senator Barto and passed the Senate. It hit more opposition in the House. The pro-choice, pro-women groups held a press conference on March 13 to point out that the bill was first assigned in the House to Federalism and Private Property. So women’s uteruses are now private property of the state? That is how it was in Germany under the Nazi’s and Russia under Stalin. Women were considered resources of the state to manipulate as needed i.e. have more babies now for cannon fodder and have fewer babies now to save money.

Speaker of the House Mesnard removed the bill from Federalism and assigned it to Judiciary – where they deal with criminal actions. So women having an abortion is criminal in their minds? No, it’s a constitutional right, with or without the ERA. The committee chair tried to cover that by saying it was about constitutionality but that is a lie. Rules committee’s remit is to check on constitutionality. Besides the legislature never cares about constitutionally when they want something passed. Mesnard refused to put the bill in Health where it should have gone as the proponents pretended that it was about women’ health. If so then why not put it in Health committee as they did in the Senate?  Well the House Health committee is chaired and vice chaired by women and has 6 women out of 9 members. Perhaps they feared the women would admit this has nothing to do with health?

Prior to the Judiciary hearing on 14 March, Chair of Judiciary Farnsworth submitted an amendment to remove the list of reasons why women wanted to have an abortion.  Basically it’s none of your business. While the three Democrats (Hernandez, Gonzales, Engel) did a yeoman’s job of questioning those who testified for the bill, they could not or would not answer questions such as if you want to reduce abortions, proven ways to do that are comprehensive sex education in high school and free and accessible contraception. Will you support that?  Not so much. If you really care about the health of the woman, will you support funding for prenatal care? Not so much. If you really support women and families, will you vote to increase TANF funding and remove the year cap that AZ has – the shortest in the nation? Not really.

One woman from a crisis pregnancy center said that 36% of the women are coerced into having an abortion. Well if they are at her center, they are not having an abortion. Another woman who testified for the bill worried about “complications” when abortion is the safest medical procedure and out of 13,000 abortions in Arizona last year, there were 33 complications.

Planned Parenthood, NOW, the producer of the movie Birthright and others spoke against the bill and those signed in RTS against the bill numbered four times those who for it. Further, all the medical associations were against the bill but a pro-fetus group of OBGYNs according to Herod. Nevertheless, the committee voted strictly along party lines 6-3 in favor. Contact your two House representative now against the bill.

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