Answer: When she lives in Arizona.
Arizona made big strides today in its quest to be one of the absolute worst places to be a woman—or to even have a woman in your family. Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the hideous bill, HB 2036, that redefines a pregnancy as beginning at two weeks before conception. It now appears that Jan Brewer feels like playing God and deciding for every woman in the state of Arizona exactly when they became pregnant.
This is the earliest in any state. The law effectively bans abortions after 20 weeks gestational age—err, 18 weeks if you’re using the old counting system—except in cases of medical emergency. As draconian as it sounds, it shouldn’t change much since very few of those abortions are even performed in the state at the moment. The two-week rule is a way doctors use to estimate when a pregnant woman conceived in order to approximate when the baby will be born.
What will change, thanks to the very richly named Women’s Health and Safety Act, is that medication-induced abortions will become much harder to come by. The law requires that doctors prescribing medications for non-surgical abortions have hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place. Most women either take the pills at home or at a clinic, which often are not within 30 miles of a hospital. This will prevent providers from caring for women, and Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute says this will effectively be a “shutdown” of medication abortions. Now might be the time to take your uterus and run, people of Arizona.
The law “disregards women’s health in a way I’ve never seen before,” said Center for Reproductive Rights’ state advocacy counsel, Jordan Goldberg. “The women of Arizona can’t access medical treatment that other women can.”
Between Brewer and AZ Rep. Debbie Lesko, who brought forth HB 2625 allowing employers to opt out of birth control coverage for their employees based upon their own personal religious beliefs, Arizona is now the only state where two women have joined forces to make life more difficult for all the women in their state. Brewer and Lesko, you are a disgrace to our gender.
Now, if a woman is “pregnant” two weeks before she becomes pregnant, than any fertile woman—-including those currently menstruating!—-should really be considered pregnant. So, technically by law, I could now be pregnant. After all, we don’t know the future. We don’t know that any non-pregnant woman couldn’t be pregnant two weeks from now, making her retroactively pregnant now. Considering that it’s anti-choice nuts we’re talking about, it’s safe to assume that they’d simply prefer a situation where all women of reproductive age are considered to be pregnant, on the grounds that they could be two weeks from now.
But what angers me most about this bill is the fact that, once again, a governor has put her personal religious beliefs in front of the constitution. I am beginning to feel like an old scratched vinyl record constantly replaying, “What has happened to separation of church and state? And freedom of religion?” Due to her religious background and upbringing, she is putting her dislike of abortion first before the Constitution’s “Freedom of Religion.”
Another official who put her hand on the Constitution and swore to uphold the bible rather than placing her hand on the bible swearing to uphold the Constitution.
References and Related Articles:
• Motley News: An Open Letter to AZ Rep. Debbie Lesko RE: HB 2625
• Motley News: AZ Rep. Debbie Lesko (R) Defending Her HB2625 Allowing Employers to Opt Out of Birth Control Coverage
• Jezebel: Uteruses Everywhere Weep As Arizona Governor Signs Insanely Restrictive Abortion Bill Into Law
• Jezebel: Batshit Insane Lawmakers Attempting to Declare Women ‘Pregnant’ Two Weeks Before Conception
• The Daily Beast: Governor Jan Brewer Signs Arizona’s Extreme New Abortion Law
• Huffington Post: In Arizona, You’d Be Pregnant By Now!
• Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona: The Pressure’s On: Now it Is Time to Kill House Bill 2036