Abortion Consent Act

March 17, 2009 by  

HB 2564-the Abortion Consent Act – passed out of the House HHS Committee 5-0 with nary a dissent.  Several committee members of the committee, in fact, left the scene during the bill deliberations.

Even Planned Parenthood and NARAL, predictably opposed to the bill, did not speak against it in committee – even while facilitating hundreds of stock e-mails to Legislators’ inboxes – spreading all manner of misinformation. Interestingly, not one of the e-mail senders testified in committee.

They simply cannot refute the facts…

Perhaps they simply could not refute the fact that the legislation would not prohibit one abortion. It may be a number of other reasons, though. Perhaps they did not want to admit that current parental consent laws, supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, are meaningless without the legislation.

Perhaps they didn’t want to go on record opposing women seeking an abortion should receive the complete and accurate information she needs before making her decision. After all, specific informed consent protocols are required for a number of medical circumstances including HIV-related testing, admission of a minor to a hospital, genetic testing and immunizations, to name a few. And it is standard practice for virtually every other medical surgical procedure that a physician communicate to their patients a raft of information, including the available alternatives, before they consent.

Except for abortion.

Maybe it is the fact that the bill’s provisions, including the 24 hour reflection period in which to process the information, are already law in 30 other states. Even a woman deciding whether to give a baby up for adoption must be given a full 72 hours within which she has the right to change her mind.

Perhaps they couldn’t make the argument that the availabililty of emergency contraception would not be affected even while protecting a pharmacist’s right not to fill an abortion-inducing prescription. After all, emergency contraception (Plan B) is now available over the counter and on the internet for $29.99!

Whatever the reasons the opposition chose not to make their case in committee, testimony in favor of the bill was powerful. And 37 Arizona physicians, many of whom are OB/GYNs, signed onto a letter recommending these changes to our abortion laws. If legislators had any doubt as to the need for the legislation, by the end of the hearing, they were erased.

To access committee testimony, click here: http://azleg.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=13. Then click on 2/25/09 House Health and Human Services meeting.

With the passage of the Abortion Consent Act, chances are excellent vulnerable minors will be less at risk of being taken advantage of, the doctor-patient relationship will be strengthened and the quality of care for women seeking abortions will improve. These are common sense provisions that are hard to argue with.

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