Anti-abortion advocates had a lot to celebrate this week, including the passage of what a Republican bill sponsor in Kentucky dubbed one of the “most significant” pieces of anti-abortion legislation “in a generation.”
Arizona’s Republican governor, meanwhile, signed into law a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks, similar to the Mississippi law currently before the US Supreme Court.
And in Idaho, abortion providers are suing to try and stop the state’s six-week ban on most abortions.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday signed into law legislation that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of medical emergency. The bill offers no exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
With Ducey’s signature, Arizona became the first state this year to enact a ban after 15 weeks, following the similar law Mississippi passed in 2018 that the US Supreme Court seems poised to uphold this year.
Republican lawmakers in Arizona had approved the bill last week, without support from Democrats.
The bill goes into effect 90 days after the Arizona legislative session ends.
Florida and Kentucky have passed similar 15-week abortion bans, which await action from their respective governors.
Kentucky’s GOP-majority legislature on Tuesday gave approval to a sweeping abortion bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, restrict access to medication abortion and make it more difficult for a minor to obtain an abortion in the state.
The bill was sent to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday, though it’s unclear how he will act. The governor has not committed to supporting any abortion bills in the legislature and told reporters last month that he believes “health care decisions should be between a patient and their doctor.”
Beshear can choose to sign the bill or allow the legislation to become law without signing it. If he were to veto the bill, however, Republicans have the majority to easily override him.
The bill would require that drugs used in a medication abortion be provided only by a qualified physician, which is someone licensed to practice medicine and in good standing in Kentucky. A number of requirements must be met before dispensing drugs, including an in-person examination and informing patients about the risks of using medication abortion drugs. The drugs also cannot be sent via mail.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the providers argued that the Idaho law violates several provisions of the state constitution and asked the state Supreme Court to intervene before the law goes into effect on April 22.
Like the Texas law, the Idaho measure outlaws abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which falls around six weeks into pregnancy, when many people do not yet know that they’re pregnant.
Also similar to Texas, Idaho’s law allows certain family members of the fetus to take legal action against the abortion provider or medical professional who violates the law – a provision of the law that Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little raised concerns about even as he signed the bill l