Two more states have advanced comprehensive pro-life legislation that would limit the practicing of abortions, ahead of an expected Supreme Court ruling on abortion this summer.
As reported by ABC News, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) signed a comprehensive 15-week abortion ban into law, after the bill passed through both houses of the state legislature on party-line votes.
“In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life — including preborn life,” Ducey said in a written statement. “I believe it is each state’s responsibility to protect them.”
The new Arizona law allows for only one exception to the 15-week ban: Abortions in cases where continuation of the pregnancy would “create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” for the mother. The law also allows for doctors who perform abortions after 15 weeks to face felony charges and possible loss of their medical license for doing so, but does not allow for prosecution of women who seek abortions.
On Tuesday, the Kentucky state legislature advanced a pro-life bill called HB3. Under the bill, drugs needed for a “medication abortion” – non-surgical procedures often carried out within the first 10 weeks of a pregnancy – must be provided to patients only by licensed physicians who are in good standing in Kentucky. Such drugs would no longer be able to be sent to patients through the mail under the new law.
The legislation would also require all the names of doctors who provide medication abortions to be released publicly, and would also set up a government-run online “complaint portal” so citizens can anonymously report abortion providers who violate the new law.
With these bills, Arizona and Kentucky join the ranks of numerous other states that have passed pro-life bills in recent months, including Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. The latter’s 15-week abortion ban is being challenged at the Supreme Court, in a case that could ultimately decide the fate of legalized abortion.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is expected to be decided this summer; with the court currently consisting of a 6-3 conservative majority, it is widely expected that the decision will see at least the partial overturning of the historic 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. In the event that Roe is fully or partially overturned, the court will most likely return the issue of abortion to individual states to decide.