Arizona is following nationwide trends toward increasingly restrictive abortion laws. In 2015, state legislators passed several laws matching regulations in other states that have led to clinic closures.
Like many other states, Arizona lawmakers have recently passed regulations on abortion clinics requiring doctors at the clinics to be able to admit patients to hospitals in the case of an emergency.
Arizona also has laws requiring women to be counseled with information about pregnancies including a controversial change in 2015 that would offer information about “abortion reversal.” Senate Bill 1318 requires doctors
to offer information that “it may be possible to reverse the effects of a medication abortion if the woman changes her mind but that time is of the essence.”
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The bill also offers information about the technique on the state’s Department of Health Services website. The state provides a variety of other information on the Department of Health Services website concerning pregnancy and abortion including information that describes an unborn child and “lists of agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute
, Arizona has lower abortion rates than average. About 13 percent of all pregnancies in Arizona ended in abortion in 2011. The rate was about 18 percent for the nation as a whole.
Arizona had 17 abortion providers in 2011, which is a slight decline from 2008 when there were 19 abortion providers in the state. The percentage of counties in Arizona that have abortion services is higher than the rest of the nation. In Arizona in 2011 67 percent of counties did not have an abortion clinic. Only 14 percent of Arizona women lived in these counties. The nationwide average is 89 percent of counties without abortion clinics accounting for 38 percent of American women.
Restrictions on abortions in Arizona also include limits on when insurance policies can cover abortion. Doctors cannot engage in telemedicine to deliver medical abortions. Minors must have the consent of a parent. A woman must undergo an ultrasound and be offered the opportunity to see the image before an abortion is provided.
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