Social Issues Women's Rights

New Arizona Abortion Law Makes Patients Explain Their Choices

Few thousands people took part in the so-called Black Protest or General Woman Strike in response to a proposed bill to completely ban abortion in the country, in Gdansk, Poland, on October 3, 2016. Proposed new law would criminalise all abortions. The action is organized to express the opposition to the tightening of the anti-abortion law and according to its name all of the participants wear black. (Photo by Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

TUCSON – Abortion has long been a controversial topic and a new law that went into effect in Arizona Jan. 1 is now adding even more conflict.

Women seeking an abortion now have to face a series of questions about their decision.

Many oppose this new law, saying it is too intrusive.

Senate Bill 1394 requires doctors to ask each patient a series of questions. Among them, there will be questions about the reason for wanting an abortion.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Executive Director, Jodi Liggett, says these questions can bring up trauma.

“This mostly is an attempt to intimidate patients from seeking abortion care and to make providing abortion care burdensome administratively,” said Liggett.

The stated objective of the bill is to gather information.

“Look that’s apple pie. Nobody is against having more or better information, but as we do in Democracies, we have to draw a line somewhere around people’s privacy,” Liggett said.

Liggett says there is a provision that allows women to refuse to answer why they are seeking an abortion and they plan to let their patients know that up front.

Though Planned Parenthood opposes this law, others support it.

Elisa Medina, Executive Director for the Tucson non-profit Hands of Hope, says this law will help women.

“Let’s say a pregnancy is the result of sexual violence or sexual assault,” said Medina. “Regardless of what that woman chooses for the pregnancy, we want to know that information and abortion providers should want to know that information so that they can provide additional support for her.”

The bill requires doctors to ask patients if they were raped or are victims of domestic abuse. If they say yes, doctors are required by law to provide resources to seek help.

“As a sexual assault survivor personally, I think it would have been wonderful to have my medical provider talk to me about the resources that could have been available to me, so I’m surprised that anyone would be opposed to gathering more information,” Medina said. “And women don’t have to answer these questions.”

%d bloggers like this: