Texas recently passed a ban on abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The law takes the unusual step of allowing citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone who facilitates an abortion. What does the new law mean to the abortion debate in general and particularly in Arizona, where anti-abortion activists are already looking at the Texas law as a template for new legislation. We talked about all this with Dr. Swapna Reddy from ASU’s College of Health Solutions.
“At the moment (it’s) the most restrictive abortion ban in the developed world,” Reddy said.
The ban states that women are not allowed to receive an abortion after 6 weeks, but Reddy says other factors make the law stand out as well. The Supreme Court turned down reviewing the challenge to this law.
“What’s really interesting about this particular ban is it’s not really being enforced by the states, but by citizens. Individual private citizens can sue either the healthcare providers or family friends or Uber drivers who aid a woman who is trying to receive an abortion after six weeks” Reddy said.
Reddy said most women (85%) don’t even know that they are pregnant at six weeks. The bill also includes no exceptions to rape or incest cases.
Lawmakers have said this law could be a template for potential Arizona legislation.
“Last year was an extremely hot year for restrictive abortion bills not just in Arizona but across a lot of conservative-led states,” Reddy.
Arizona recently passed Senate Bill 1457 making it illegal for abortions to be performed because of genetic abnormalities.