For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
SB 1457 attacks abortion care from almost every angle imaginable, threatens doctors with jail time, and could lead to the criminalization of people who have an abortion
Arizona — Today, anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed into law an extreme bill (SB 1457) attacking reproductive freedom from almost every angle imaginable. Ducey signed the bill the day after a coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates—including NARAL Pro-Choice America—delivered a petition calling on him to listen to Arizonans and reject political interference in personal medical decisions by vetoing SB 1457.
More than 2,800 concerned Arizonans signed on to the petition calling on Ducey to veto SB 1457, building on the nearly 15,000 emails and phone calls made by Arizona residents to the governor and Republican state legislators in opposition to the extreme and dangerous bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Southwest Regional Director Caroline Mello Roberson released the following statement in response:
“This bill, like Governor Ducey, couldn’t be more out of touch with the majority of Arizonans who support reproductive freedom. Instead of delivering much-needed COVID-19 relief, Republicans in Arizona chose to devote this year’s legislative session to waging attacks on Arizonans’ most fundamental freedoms, pushing extreme bills gutting access to abortion and suppressing the right to vote. SB 1457 will have devastating consequences for Arizona doctors, pregnant people, and families—full stop. In passing this outrageous bill, Gov. Ducey and the Republican-controlled state Legislature have made clear how little they truly care about serving the interests of Arizonans.”
Republican politicians in Arizona kicked off the 2021 state legislative session by attacking reproductive freedom, introducing nearly a dozen bills restricting access to abortion. SB 1457 is a sweeping bill that threatens doctors who provide abortion care with jail time; locks into law ideological language defining when “life” begins that could lead to criminalizing people who seek abortion care; bans abortion based on the perceived reason a person is seeking care; and bans public education institutions from providing abortion care, among other restrictions.
Arizona already has some of the most severe restrictions on reproductive freedom in the United States, which include forcing delays before a person can receive abortion care and subjecting people to mandatory biased counseling. These restrictions disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and people of color; those with low incomes; and people living in rural communities. This bill is a part of a coordinated effort by the Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
Recent polling found that a strong majority (76%) of Arizona voters believe that abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. More than half of Arizona voters agree that it is important for state legislatures to proactively protect the right to abortion through state legislation, and say they’re more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a world where people respect others’ personal decisions about parenthood and pregnancy.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.