The Interim’s regular contributor, Winifride Prestwich is vacationing in Arizona. In place of her column “You were asking” she has sent the following report on local developments.
Arizona Democrats follow the abortion-on-demand line of federal Democrats. Delegates at their state convention, January 13, passed a number of anti-family resolutions. One supported “freedom of choice for abortion.” A second resolution, calling for the repeal of a law that banned unmarried couples living together, spoke of “outdated, unenforceable statutes requiring familial relations in cohabitation.”
On February 15, Phoenix Mayor Terry Goddard resigned in order to run as the Democrat candidate for Governor of Arizona later this year. Goddard is unabashedly pro-abortion.
The Republican Party holds the majority of seats in the state Legislature, and is largely – but not completely – pro-life. Some pro-abortionists hold key positions such as Senate majority leader and the Speaker of the House. They can, and do, put road-blocks in the path of pro-life legislation.
On the positive side, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (where bills start their legislative journey) is Jim Skelly, the leading abortion opponent in the State Legislatiure.
Bills to restrict or outlaw abortions
On February 22, ten bills intended to restrict or to regulate abortions were placed before a legislative committee of the Arizona government. All ten bills were sponsored by Republicans, and of these, seven were co-sponsored by women, and in fact five were written by women. Each of the ten bills passed by a vote of 9 to 3; one Democrat voted pro-life, and one Republican was pro-abortion. From the Canadian pro-life perspective it would be hard to define most of the ten bills as “pro-life,” but considered in the context of the U.S. political scene, and in the shadow of the Roe v. Wade decision, every small step to save the unborn is important. Pro-abortionists are striving to block every move. The bills would:
Provide for a 72 hour waiting period; prevent abortions because the child was the wrong sex; prohibit abortion for birth control; require notification of the father before an abortion; ban the use of public funds for abortion; require doctors to inform women whether a fetus would feel pain; require doctors to give mothers full information at least 24 hours before an abortion; and set viability at 20 weeks.
The strongest bills are those of Jim Skelly. One bill would outlaw abortion except to save the life of the mother. It is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Another bill would have Arizona join other states in the drive for a constitutional convention approving an amendment outlawing abortion.
Abortion and Sex-selection
It is possible that one bill, the one which bans abortion for sex-selection could pass fairly easily. Even pro-abortionists appear to have limits – at least for the moment — and sex-selection is beyond those limits.
Abortion for sex-selection came into effect in January in Pennsylvania, but unfortunately such a ban is impossible to enforce in the United States. So long as abortion is allowed, a woman who wants to rid herself of her child because it is of the wrong sex can kill the baby.
If Canada passes a law allowing abortion for ‘health’ reasons, women might say they are psychologically damaged to find their unborn baby is a girl instead of the wanted boy (or vice versa).
A bill to outlaw abortion for sex selection does serve a purpose in showing that the practice is morally repugnant to our culture, but it would not necessarily stop even one child fro dying. It was, therefore, all the more dismaying to read that Dr. John Willke, President of National Right to Life told the National Catholic Register, “In New York, for example, which has a strongly pro-abortion assembly, if we could get a bill through barring abortion in cases o sex selection, that’s the best we could do… We would be foolish to push for what we want. We have to go for what is gettable.”