The beginning of a new year means reviewing the past one. Though 2014 has just begun, the crazy antics of 2013 are still fresh in our minds. With the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade this week, we should have made more way for women to have legal authority over their own bodies. However, it feels like with every step forward, we are forced to take two steps back due to Republican attacks on women. 2013 was a year of several national efforts to instate anti-choice legislation. Nearly half (24) of our nation’s states tried to pass anti-choice measures, with Arkansas leading the way by passing 8 out of those 53 national laws.
Not to be outdone, Arizona recently tried to revive a controversial law banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, dating from the last menstrual period. It comes as no surprise that the idea of “being pregnant before you have sex” caused an uproar when the law was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in April 2012.
Governor Brewer’s spokesman, Andrew Wilder, says that the governor has “championed to make Arizona one of the most pro-life states in the union”, with the law being “consistent with her proud and proven track record as the most pro-life governor in Arizona.”
Thankfully, in May 2013, a San Francisco appeals court already ruled the Arizona 20-week ban as unconstitutional. The judges cited the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, stating that the core message of those previous decisions was that “a woman has a constitutional right to end a pregnancy before the fetus is viable.”
The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal from Arizona officials who were hoping would restore the state’s power enacting more choice-restricting laws.
What is most infuriating about this mess is the fact that while these laws affect women, most of the time, politicians who are neither doctors nor female are proposing these bills. Unfortunately, while Governor Brewer is a female, she does not seem to understand a woman’s need for autonomy in making decisions about her own, personal health. Surrounded by anti-choice male politicians, Governor Brewer continues to make reproductive choices for Arizona women without our consent. This is not something new. Stay tuned for more blogs discussing Brewer’s anti-woman influence on significant Arizona laws.
I know if you are reading this post, you value your reproductive health choices, so get your friends and family to support these essential rights. Speak up with your vote now. Tell Governor Brewer you will not stand for these attacks against personal medical decisions. Show Arizona politicians that you will not stand for infringements on your personal decision-making liberties. When your representatives vote against what is best for you, tell them you will not allow it by showing up at the polls. Vote anti-choice Republicans OUT of office by voting IN pro-choice Democratic women—support Arizona List. Your choice matters.
P.S Check out the stats below if you still do not think it is time to step up for women in Arizona.
*Image originated from NARAL Pro-Choice America