Classic Arizona. First is the allowing doctors to lie to parents about the health of their baby in order to prevent them from seeking an abortion – which again, allows the doctor to just assume that all parents will seek abortion if they find out their baby will have health issues, and this only proves that state legislators would seek abortions in this case, as it’s the only reason they would just assume everyone else would; and also prevents parents from mentally preparing for the work ahead; also potentially threatens the life of the mother. I’m sorry, but if my baby is slowing killing me from the inside out… I can continue to live and try again, no sense in us both dying.
But no, as if that wasn’t bad enough, now they’ve expressly stated that life does not begin at conception – no – it begins on the FIRST DAY of your last period. So what this means, is that the same day that most women regard with either relief or regret that they’re not pregnant, is actually the first day of your pregnancy.
In other words… you are always pregnant. You wake up on Thursday, feeling a little gross, go to the bathroom, and there it is. Yes! You’re not pregnant. Damnit, you’re already pregnant, just in case you get a little frisky in two weeks. It’s fair. We’re all about gender equality, right? Well, guys have premature ejaculation, so we get premature pregnancy.
Yes, most OB/GYN’s start the clock from the the date of the LMP (last monthly period), and this is where we get that pregnancy is actually 10 months, not 9, but they use that as the estimate. For instance, you likely conceived anywhere from two weeks after that date. So while you may be 7 weeks into the pregnancy, your baby’s gestational age will be estimated at 5.
What this means, is that in Arizaon, abortions are effectively banned after 18 weeks, as opposed to the “on the books” 20 weeks. Because, you know after 20 weeks is when the fetus can feel pain, as they’ve all reported to doctors from inside the womb.
What we should do is pit AZ against other states that require ultrasounds. Clearly, if a woman can tell you when her last period was, then she doesn’t need an ultrasound. Also, how does this affect women with irregular periods? What about the woman who still get their periods for a couple months even after they’re pregnant? The fact that AZ is willing to take an OB/GYN calculation and explicitly state, legally, that it’s when life begins, is insane. Granted, only 1% of abortions take place past that timeframe, so technically this doesn’t have that much of an effect, but it does set a precedent. What’s next?
Other parts of the law include, but at not limited to: education in public schools that prioritizes birth and adoption; an order for the state health department to maintain a website displaying images of fetuses; and abortion counseling for women aiming to abort pregnancies due to fetal abnormalities, including perinatal hospice information before ending the pregnancy. It also reaffirms existing barriers to access, like the requirement of a notarized parental consent form for minors and a mandatory ultrasound screening within 24 hours of having an abortion.
If life begins when you’re bleeding, how long until birth control, including condom and emergency contraception, are illegal?