Abortion Laws in Arizona

The focus of New Beginnings is on changing hearts and minds, not laws. However, we feel that it is important for clients to know the laws regulating abortion in Arizona. Arizona has a strong pro-life record, and continues to be a leader in the nation. A good source of current information can be found on the website Center for Arizona Policy (CAP).

The Center for Arizona Policy has also published the current laws in Arizona, which can be found here.

Following are some relevant laws:

Preference for Childbirth and Adoption in Schools (A.R.S. § 15-115)
In view of the state’s strong interest in promoting childbirth and adoption over elective abortion, no school district or charter school in this state may allow any presentation during instructional time or furnish any materials to pupils as part of any instruction that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.
Parental Consent (A.R.S. § 36-2152)
Requires parental consent for minors seeking abortions, but allows for judicial bypass. Requires the parental consent to be obtained on a form to ensure that parents are informed of all of the medical risks of abortion before giving consent. Requires parental consent to be notarized. Allows parents to sue (1) an abortion provider who performs an abortion on their minor daughter without parental consent or (2) any person who assists a minor in obtaining an abortion without parental consent.

Informed Consent (A.R.S. § 36-2153)
Information must be provided 24 hours in advance to a woman seeking an abortion about the risks and alternatives of the procedure, the probable gestational age and physiological characteristics of the preborn child, and the services available from public and private agencies to assist during pregnancy and after birth. Requires that the information is provided at an in-person consultation with a doctor. Allows a woman to file a lawsuit against an abortion provider who fails to obtain informed consent. Requires the Department of Health Services to create and maintain a website providing unbiased information about fetal development, the risks of abortion, and information about alternatives to abortion.

Coercion Prohibited (A.R.S. § 36-2153)
Prohibits a person from intimidating or coercing another person into having an abortion and allows minors to obtain public assistance benefits if parents cut off financial support because the minor refuses to have an abortion. Requires that all abortion clinics conspicuously post signs that state it is unlawful for any person to intimidate or coerce another person into having an abortion.

Foster Parents (A.R.S. § 8-514.05).
Foster parents may not consent to abortion for a foster child.

Informed Consent for Lethal Condition (A.R.S. § 36-2158)
When a woman discovers that her child may have a life-threatening birth defect or other fetal condition, information must be provided 24 hours in advance about the support that is available to her, including perinatal hospice. Requires the Department of Health Services to create and maintain a website providing unbiased information about perinatal hospice and assistance available for children with special needs.

Requirement of and Opportunity to View Ultrasound (A.R.S. § 36-2156)
Requires an ultrasound to be performed at least 24 hours before every abortion, and a woman seeking abortion must be offered the opportunity to view the ultrasound and hear the baby’s heartbeat, if audible.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (A.R.S. § 13-3603.01)
Outlaws the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure; mirrors the federal law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prohibition on Abortion of Viable Fetus (A.R.S. § 36-2301.01)
An abortion may not be performed on a viable fetus. There is an exception for an abortion that is necessary to save the life and health of the mother.

Duty to Promote Life of Fetus Delivered Alive (A.R.S. § 36-2301)
If an abortion is performed and the fetus is alive, the physician performing the abortion is required to see that all available means and medical skills are used to promote, preserve, and maintain the life of the fetus.

Prohibiting Race-Selection and Sex-Selection Abortions (A.R.S. §§ 13-3603.02, 36-2157)
Prohibits abortions based on the race or sex of the preborn child.

Telemedicine for Abortion Prohibited (A.R.S. § 36-3604)
Abortion providers may not use webcam technology as a substitute for an in-person meeting with a doctor.

Right to Refuse to Participate in Abortion (A.R.S. § 36-2154)
No hospital or healthcare worker may be required to perform abortions. Protects all healthcare workers to uphold their religious beliefs about abortion, abortion medication, and emergency contraception without compromising their jobs.

Abortion Reporting (A.R.S. §§ 36-2161, 36-2163)
Requires abortion clinics to report to the Department of Health Services monthly on how many abortions they performed, the reason for the procedure, the type of procedure as well as demographical information of their patients, excluding any personal identifiers. Allows DHS to take disciplinary action against an abortion clinic’s license for failure to report.

Prohibition on Use of Public Funds (A.R.S. § 35-196.02)
Public funds may not be used to pay for an abortion except to save the life of the mother. Federal funds may be used when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. An Arizona Supreme Court decision, Simat v. AHCCCS, requires an exception for indigent women seeking a “medically necessary” abortion. Public funds may not be used for abortion training.

Health Insurance Exchanges (A.R.S. § 20-121)
Plans that provide abortion coverage will not be included in any health insurance exchange created under President Obama’s national healthcare bill. Includes an exception for the mother’s life or health or for abortion coverage that is paid for as a separate rider.