Arizona lawmakers gave final passage to three anti-abortion bills Tuesday afternoon, including one that declares pregnancies in the state begin two weeks before conception.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to prohibit abortions after the 18th week of pregnancy; a bill to protect doctors from being sued if they withhold health information about a pregnancy that could cause a woman to seek an abortion; and a bill to mandate that how school curriculums address the topic of unwanted pregnancies.
All of the bills passed the Senate and now head to Gov. Jan Brewer (R) for her signature or veto.
The 18th week bill includes a new definition for when pregnancy begins. A sentence in the bill defines gestational age as "calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman," which would move the beginning of a pregnancy up two weeks prior to conception. The bill's passage would give Arizona the earliest cutoff for late-term abortions in the country; most states use 20 weeks as a definition.
The legislation protecting doctors is really hard to understand: if your doctor decides that you don't need to know that the baby is going to be born without a brain, he doesn't need to tell you. And you can't sue him for not telling you. Sort of throws a whole new slant on 'doctor-patient' confidentiality, doesn't it. Now it's 'Doctor-Doctor' confidentiality. The new 'hypocratic' oath.
The other two bills passed by the House include the state's "wrongful birth, wrongful life" bill that prohibits lawsuits against doctors who do not provide information about a fetus' health if that information could lead to an abortion. In addition, parents cannot sue on the child's behalf after birth.