POLITICS
04/11/2018 12:08 pm ET

Arizona House Passes Bill Requiring Women Seeking Abortions To Say Why

"It’s none of the government’s business why a woman is getting an abortion," said state Rep. Athena Salman (D).
Arizona GOP lawmakers are pushing legislation to require women seeking abortions to give a reason.
Alex Wong via Getty Images
Arizona GOP lawmakers are pushing legislation to require women seeking abortions to give a reason.

The Arizona state House of Representatives passed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to fill out an invasive questionnaire that asks the reason for the procedure.

The legislation, passed on Monday, would force women to answer questions, including whether the abortion is elective for economic reasons, if the pregnancy was from a rape or incest, if the woman does not want children at this time, if the abortion is due to fetal or maternal health, and if the patient is having “relationship issues” such as domestic abuse or an extramarital affair.

The bill passed along party lines, 35-22, the Arizona Star reported. A version already has been approved by the state Senate, which now must decide whether to accept House amendments. 

State Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R) said the bill was about “getting information,” according to the Arizona Star. But when Rep. Daniel Hernandez (D) suggested the questionnaire add questions asking women whether they lacked access to affordable health care and had access to comprehensive sex education, Farnsworth shut the idea down.

“Sex education is not a health-care issue,” Farnsworth said. “Having access to contraception is not a health-care issue.” 

Research shows that when women are given access to safe and affordable contraception, abortion rates drop

The bill does not require women to disclose their identity on the questionnaire, but they would have to provide their race, ethnicity, age, educational background, marital status and the number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions. 

Jodi Liggett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, 
told Bustle that the questionnaire is an anti-abortion tactic designed to shame women for their health care decisions. 

“This is about making the abortion experience as shaming and degrading as possible for people, to thereby discourage them from following through with their decision,” Liggett said. “Nothing more.”

State Rep. Athena Salman (D), who opposed the legislation, said “it’s none of the government’s business why a woman is getting an abortion.”

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