Abortion Ban Passes in Senate, Lesko Bill Down but Not Out

Two important bills went in opposite direction in the Arizona Legislature this week.

Arizona’s Senate voted 20-10 Tuesday to ban abortions of preborn children at 20 weeks. If this bill is eventually signed into law, it would change the current legality of abortion until a preborn child is “viable.”

Senate Minority Leader David Schapira (Tempe left-winger) boasted to reporters that lawmakers are empowered to determine life and death outcomes.

Sen. Steve Smith, Maricopa conservative, disagreed: “I would like to listen to the 50 million-plus children that have been aborted and killed since Roe v. Wade. I would like to listen to what they think of this bill.”

And so did Sen. Steve Yarbrough, Chandler conservative, who said, “There’s a third person in that room. There’s the baby. Who speaks for her, the totally innocent one with no voice? Who has the duty and the right to speak for her? We do.”

The bill now goes across the capital lawn to the Arizona House of Representatives for its deliberation.

The East Valley Tribune story prominently features in its story the views of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest profiteer of abortion deaths. But nowhere is Arizona Right to Life or the Center for Arizona Policy included in the story written by left-wing reporter Howard Fischer.


The Arizona Senate Wednesday defeated HB 2625, a bill introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko, conservative, to protect religious freedom. This bill declares that any entity or individual with a religious objection to paying for objectionable insurance coverage is free to contract with an employer and insurer who want to honor their conscience. The vote was 17-13 against.

Republican Nancy Barton tendered a last-minute “no” vote to keep the bill alive for re-consideration. But no-votes included Scottsdale abortion advocate Michele Reagan, Mesa RINOs Jerry Lewis and Rich Crandall, and Republicans John Nelson, John McComish and Senate President Steve Pierce.

One thought on “Abortion Ban Passes in Senate, Lesko Bill Down but Not Out

  1. arizona today

    Arizona Religious Freedom Bill to Get Second Vote

    By Karla Dial, CitzenLink

    The Arizona Senate on Wednesday shot down a bill seeking to protect employers from being forced to pay for workers’ contraceptive drugs and devices. But the bill will get a second vote before the legislative session ends in mid-April.

    Though HB 2625 passed the state House of Representatives with a two-thirds majority recently, the Senate rejected it on a narrow 17-13 vote when seven Republicans joined the chamber’s nine Democrats.

    “Opponents completely distorted what the bill would do and not do,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. “It was drafted by Alliance Defense Fund attorney to protect faith-based institutions as well as employers who may object to covering birth control for religious reasons. The discussion became totally focused on birth-control pills — they said if a woman has to take them to treat endometriosis, then employers and insurance companies would know her medical condition. They were able to find a soft spot.”

    Some reports suggested that the legislation would allow employers to fire workers who take contraceptives. That’s not the case, Herrod said.

    “The core issue that people have got to see is that a woman’s right to have birth-control pills does not give her the right to compel anyone to pay for the pills or her abortions,” she explained. “Planned Parenthood and their allies believe that women should just be able to force their employers to do that, regardless of their religious views, and that goes against the First Amendment.

    “The religious liberty angle got lost” in the debate, she added. “It was shocking to see the lack of respect. This is a wake-up call to see how religious liberty is used by many of our elected officials. It’s almost anti-Catholic bigotry of a different type.”

    The controversy over the legislation mirrors what’s taking place in the federal debate over ObamaCare: Since 2003, Arizona has had a law with the same overly narrow religious exemption, requiring all religious employers except churches to provide insurance covering contraceptives and drugs that could cause early abortions for workers

    “We tried to change that religious exception a few years ago, and (former Gov. Janet) Napolitano vetoed it. This was an attempt to fix that,” Herrod said.

    Ironically, all but one of the Republicans who voted against the religious-protections bill had voted just 24 hours earlier to ban late-term abortions.

    “People can think a yes vote on a bill like 2625 can hurt them politically, when they already have a pretty solid voting record,” Herrod noted. “Planned Parenthood all of a sudden isn’t going to support someone who voted ‘No’ on this, when the day before they voted ‘Yes’ on banning abortions after 20 weeks.”

    Read Arizona HB 2625.

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