Why Arizona state Sen. Eva Burch publicly revealed her planned abortion

This article was originally published by AZ Central.

Opinion: State Sen. Eva Burch wants to have meaningful conversations about ‘how the work that we do in this body impacts people.’
EJ Montini
Arizona Republic
March 19th, 2024

On Monday, Democratic state Sen. Eva Burch took to the Senate floor and told her colleagues something that no one should need to discuss in public.

And she did so for the very best reason.

She said in part, “I don’t think people should have to justify their abortions. But I’m choosing to talk about why I made this decision because I want us to be able to have meaningful conversations about the reality of how the work that we do in this body impacts people in the real world.”

Burch is not only brave, she is generous.

She knows, working where she works, that the reason she felt compelled to discuss such a personal and emotional health care decision is because for a very long time the Republicans who control the Legislature have not been willing — at all — to have “meaningful conversations” about the reality of how the work they do impacts people in the real world.

Why Burch going public is so important

Democratic state Sen. Eva Burch

If they did, Burch’s public revelation would not have been necessary. And it was.

She spoke of how she’d had difficulty with pregnancies before and that she’d had an abortion in 2022 owing to a nonviable diagnosis of a wanted pregnancy.

She added, “We have determined that my pregnancy is once again not progressing and is not viable, and once again I have scheduled an appointment to terminate my pregnancy.”

She also described how, under Arizona law, she was forced to have a transvaginal ultrasound as well as made listen to what she called an “exhaustive list of absolute disinformation.”

Legislature could nix abortion ban. It won’t

She added, “From where I sat, the only reason I had to hear those things was a cruel and really uninformed attempt by outside forces to shame and coerce and frighten me into making a different decision other than the one that I knew was right for me.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all script for people seeking abortion care, and the Legislature doesn’t have any right to assign one.”

It shouldn’t have that right but, sadly, it did so anyway.

Rep. Biggs (unintentionally) helps:Abortion rights case

Just as the Legislature could rescind an 1864 abortion ban, still on the books, that some are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to put into effect.

More than a few of the Republicans who serve with Burch are hoping that will happen.

Voters should decide this issue

It’s the reason why Arizona citizens are working to put an initiative on the ballot that would restore women’s reproductive rights to the level before Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Legislature could fix this, but won’t.

So, a group called Arizona for Abortion Access is collecting signatures to put it to a statewide vote.

When that happens, Arizona citizens will return to women the governance over their own health, and someone like Burch won’t have to publicly remind people that it has been taken away.

Which is perhaps why she said of the ballot initiative, “I stand with those who have had to grapple with and navigate Arizona’s restrictive laws surrounding abortion at a time when the decisions being made were complicated enough. I’m with them. I appreciate them. I am them.”

Become a Member

Join a community of Arizonans committed to electing pro-choice, Democratic women to school boards, city councils, county boards, the state legislature, and state-wide office.