Arizona has just become the sixth state in the United States to introduce a bill on the draconian abortion ban in Texas.
State Representative Teresa Martinez (R) opened Arizona’s Legislative Assembly in 2022 by introducing HB 2483, entitled Arizona Heartbeat Act. Similar to Texas law, the Arizona bill bans abortions around the six-week point (a period when most people do not yet know they are pregnant) and financial incentives for private citizens to sue anyone who helps or assists a pregnant woman person trying. to have an abortion after that time.
If the bill is passed, any private citizen can file a civil lawsuit against a doctor who performs an abortion after the six-week deadline, or against anyone who helps a pregnant person get an abortion, which includes “paying for or reimbursing the expenses. for an abortion, ” according to the bill. If a person in Arizona successfully sues under HB 2483, they can receive a bounty of at least $ 10,000 and have all their legal costs paid by the opposite party.
Arizona’s HB 2483 does not make exceptions for abortion in cases of rape or incest, but the authors of the bill note that an addict who intoxicates their victim “through an act of sexual assault or incest” is prohibited from instituting civil proceedings.
Martinez did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.
The Arizona state legislature has a narrow Republican majority in both chambers, as well as a Republican governor. Governor Doug Ducey (R) has been candid in his support for anti-abortion legislation and last signed a restriction in the law that prohibits abortion due to genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the Texas law in November and handed down a verdict last month. The Conservative majority in the high court allowed the state’s extreme enforcement mechanism and six-week abortion ban to continue, while the trial, which challenged the constitutional conditions of the ban, continues in lower courts. A federal appellate court rejected an appeal from the abortion rights side earlier this week, whereby the case was forwarded to the Texas Supreme Court.
Go-ad-ad from the Supreme Court has encouraged many anti-abortion radicals to create and support more abortion restrictions. “Wherever we go, whether it’s in Texas or Nebraska or Ohio or Kentucky or Florida … we can go anywhere now and say, look, this enforcement mechanism has survived for the U.S. Supreme Court,” Mark Lee Dickson, the architect of Texas Abortion Restrictions, said last month.
Several other states have introduced copycat legislation, including Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, Alabama and Missouri. But the bills from Arkansas and Ohio go a step further, banning abortion at any point in a pregnancy. Technically, Arkansas lawmakers did not formally present their bill, but rather filed it during a special legislative session this fall. The special session was shut down without formal introduction, meaning the copycat bill is not currently moving through Arkansas’ state legislature, but it will likely be when it’s back in session in February.
Lawmakers in South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and elsewhere have expressed support for enacting similar legislation in their home states. Yet according to a latest Washington Post / ABC News poll, about two-thirds of Americans say Texas law should be repealed by the Supreme Court.
“The introduction of HB 2483 is another signal to all Arizonans that the fight for abortion access is taking place right here at home,” Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, told HuffPost.
“Clearly, the Supreme Court’s inaction on Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban has encouraged anti-abortion lawmakers in Arizona to copy SB 8 and continue to push for extreme restrictions on reproductive freedom in our state.”
“The right to accessible, affordable and informed reproductive health care should be inalienable, yet we see attack after attack driven by misinformation and stigma in Arizona,” Fonteno continued. “Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona stands with all our patients and providers and opposes this ban and all violations of the right to abortion. We will continue to fight for the rights of all human beings to control their bodies, families and future.”
Arizona is clearly preparing for a reality in which the Supreme Court overturns or overthrows Roe v. Wade in the wake of oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization sag. The case concerns a 15-week abortion ban from the Mississippi and threatens the constitutional right to abortion.
HB 2483 specifically states that several of the affirmative defenses listed in the bill are no longer available if “the Supreme Court of the United States overrides Roe v. Wade … or Planned Parenthood v. Casey … regardless of the conduct the cause of action is based on, is based on … took place before the Supreme Court overturned one of those decisions. “
The decision in the Dobbs case is expected sometime in the spring.