State Senate Democrats are trying to weaken Arizona anti-abortion legislation that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks and require women seeking abortions to view images of fetal development over the course of a pregnancy.
Among the failed amendments offered by Democrats was one requiring a lengthy informed-consent period before men could get treatment for erectile dysfunction.
“If this legislature decides that it’s going to wear white coats and stethoscopes and insert itself into women’s sexual health then they should make sure they’re also inserting themselves into men’s sexual health,” said Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson.
The legislation to protect unborn babies after 20 weeks would not apply in the event of a mother’s medical emergency. It would affect about 1 percent of the abortions performed in Arizona. Just over 11,000 abortions were performed in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, the Arizona Daily Star
reported on Thursday.
A handful of other states have adopted 20-week policies, starting with Nebraska in 2010.
The Senate gave preliminary approval to the measure Thursday; if approved by a formal vote, it must return to the House for final approval.
The new proposal would also require the state health department maintain an extensive website that provides information about alternatives to abortion, medical risks, and descriptions and images of fetuses.
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