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Republican Legislatures Move to Criminalize Abortion

Republican Legislatures Move to Criminalize Abortion

WASHINGTON — Republicans are using their power in states to criminalize abortion and attack reproductive health care. Just this week, Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma signed bills into law that would effectively ban abortion care and interfere with their constituents' freedom to control their lives and their bodies. The right-wing fueled fight to ban abortions and punish individuals who seek them and their medical providers has reached a fever pitch this year and it shows no signs of slowing down.

“These pieces of legislation are dangerous and people’s lives will be worse because they’ve been signed into law,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Let’s be crystal clear about what the goal of these laws is: to interfere in the lives and decisions of individuals and families. The decision to become a parent is a deeply personal one — and Republican lawmakers have no place in those conversations. This overreach harms patients, families, and medical providers for political gain.”

  • Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed a law that establishes fetal personhood, threatens access to birth control, and allows an individual’s family members to sue patients and doctors to interfere with abortion services. It also bans mailing abortion-inducing drugs, which are critical in a rural state like Arizona. In other words — this bill is a direct attack on individual freedoms and the right to control your own future.
  • An Idaho bill signed into law would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — effectively ending abortion access in the state. Doctors who offer abortion services could be charged with up to five years in prison and be sued for performing abortions.
  • Oklahoma Republicans passed three bills that would criminalize and severely limit access to abortions. The measures would add performing an abortion to the list of unprofessional conduct by doctors and prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected — which can happen as early as six weeks and before a person might know they’re pregnant. 

While Republicans continue their inane crusade to interfere with people’s medical care, Democratic legislatures are protecting reproductive freedoms. Democrats in New Mexico, Virginia, and Vermont have all introduced and passed legislation protecting abortion access and reproductive health.