Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law stipulating that doctors must now ask women for more specific reasons why they want an abortion. The bill received mostly partisan support from the state’s majority and Republican led house and senate. Women will now be required to choose from one of the following different reasons for abortion including that the pregnancy was the result of sexual assault, incest, sex trafficking or domestic violence.
The previous law only required doctors to inquire whether the abortion was elective or due to health considerations. Republican Sen. Nancy Barto said, “We took the best practices from other states and applied them in Arizona and added critical protections for women who are victims of sex trafficking. These women are often coerced into having abortions by their captors, so ensuring they have an escape avenue when they come to an abortion clinic is an important provision in the bill.”
But, there’s no penalty if the patient declines to provide a specific reason. Jodi Liggett, vice president of external affairs for Arizona Planned Parenthood said, “You can bet that at Planned Parenthood we will be letting our patients know that right up front.” The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence was also among the groups opposing the law because of the negative effects it could have on sexual violence survivors.