The attack on women’s rights and attempts to dismantle Roe V. Wade continued this week in Arizona, with the passing of a tough abortion bill. Signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, the new legislation makes it more difficult for women in the state to receive an abortion. It also redefines when life begins in the state. Women’s advocates are calling the new law a “dangerous new standard for hostility to women, doctors and reproductive rights,” according to The Los Angeles Times. Some of the most disturbing parts of the law don’t actually have to do with actual abortions, but with misinformation that lawmakers are now requiring be fed to women in the state.
The main problem with the legislation is that it redefines what the state considers to be the beginning of life. Pregnancy will now be calculated as beginning on the first day of the woman’s last period , according to The Daily Beast. In essence, the state is considering a life as having begun even before conception occurs, which gives a whole new meaning to the term pre-born. Scientifically speaking, life cannot occur before an egg is fertilized, but in Arizona, science apparently works a bit differently than in the rest of the country.
Schools will be required to provide curriculum about pregnancy under the new law, but girls will not be given all of the information available. Public schools will be required to endorse birth and adoption in the classroom . Taxpayer dollars will be used to push an agenda to children based on what conservative politicians believe. Arizona already requires schools to promote abstinence in sex-ed classes, despite the fact that the state has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, according to the Arizona Daily Star. It isn’t enough that the state refuses to educate children about sex, now they have decided that they will only teach children what the state feels should be done with the pregnancy after abstinence education fails.
Arizona lawmakers have completely missed the point of the abortion debate; it seems as though they don’t understand how pregnancy works. Not only are they defining women as pregnant before they ever conceive a child, they are also doing everything they can to ensure that more children will get pregnant in their state. Sex education exists to inform teenagers about the risks involved with having sex. Abstinence education does nothing to prevent teen pregnancies. Young girls need to have the information required to protect their bodies from both STDs and pregnancy. Arizona is not only refusing to give them that information; they are also refusing to give them the facts on all of the choices available after they do get pregnant.