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Opposing groups weigh in on how Texas abortion bill could impact other states

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:32 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Texas law banning abortions at six weeks went into effect at the beginning of September. Anti-abortion and abortion-rights groups say the law could set a precedent for other states, like Arizona, to follow suit.

“It was a historic victory. I was very pleased and excited that every day since the law went into effect September 1 approximately 150 unborn children are being sparred,” said Cathi Herrod, the President of the Center for Arizona Policy.

Concerns are being raised from those who oppose the law. The Texas abortion law doesn’t give exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

“I do think Arizonans should know that the threat is alive in our state, and we need to do something about that,” said Caroline Mello Roberson, the southwest regional director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The Department of Justice is suing the state of Texas over its new law.

“Whether the Texas heartbeat law is enacted in Arizona depends on a number of factors including what happens in the courts,” Herrod said.

In Arizona, abortions are banned after 20 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest or to protect a woman’s health.

“At the beginning of the Arizona legislative session, there were more than a dozen bills they tried to put forward restricting abortion access,” Mello Roberson said.

One of those bills, SB 1457, passed. It bans abortions based on genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome. A coalition of doctors, medical groups, and civil rights organizations have filed a lawsuit against it before it goes into effect at the end of September.

“There is an extreme fringe minority who wants to control the conversation, but we aren’t going to let that happen,” Mello Roberson said. “We are part of fighting back and restoring some sanity.”

Others would like to see even stricter measures taken in Arizona.

“We advocate for the lives of unborn children and their mothers so we will certainly consider the Texas heartbeat law,” Herrod said.

SB 1457 makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in Arizona solely because of a genetic abnormality. The law is set to go into effect on Sept. 29.

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