The Corner

The Abortion Industry’s Desperate Battle against Arizona’s Late-Term-Abortion Ban

Despite all Democratic party hype about the “war on women,” the abortion industry’s house of cards is collapsing. Arguments used to justify the current regime of abortion-on-demand are routinely discredited and state legislators, with the help of groups like Americans United for Life, are passing scores of new laws designed to protect women and children from the inherent and widely documented negative impact of abortion.

A recent example of this promising phenomenon can be found in the battle to enforce Arizona’s new late-term abortion limitation. The story of this remarkable bill underscores an important and developing national trend and legislators in other states are expressing growing interest in AUL’s late-term abortion limit.

In April 2012, Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2036, aptly-named “The Women’s Health and Safety Act,” into law. The measure, based on model legislation from AUL, prohibits abortions at or after 20 weeks. The law is founded on compelling medical evidence that late-term abortions are exponentially more dangerous to women and that unborn children at that stage of development feel pain.

Of course, before the law could go into effect, abortion advocates sued, falsely alleging that the limitation would place women’s “lives and health at grave risk.” At its core, the lawsuit filed in federal court in Phoenix and now pending before the Ninth Circuit, is not about women’s health. Instead, it is a calculated attempt by the abortion industry to reassert its radical ideology in the face of growing evidence of the negative impact of abortion on women’s health and of consistent public support for restrictions on the current abortion license.

Emerging medical evidence continues to document the risks of abortion. These risks — including hemorrhage, infection, incomplete abortion, organ damage, uterine scarring, and mental-health problems — are greatest when abortion occurs later in pregnancy.

#more#Notably, women are 35 times more likely to die from later-term abortions than from abortions performed at or before eight weeks.

Remarkably, this increased risk of death from late-term abortions is readily acknowledged by the abortion industry. For example, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s abortion mega-provider, notes on its website that “the risk of death from abortion increases the longer a woman has been pregnant.”

Even a cursory review of the legislative history of “The Women’s Health and Safety Act” convincingly demonstrates that the Arizona legislators who enacted this medically supported limit on late-term abortion understood this evidence and were motivated by concern for women’s health — not by an animus toward abortion generally, or a callous disregard for women’s health as abortion advocates have cavalierly implied.

Desperate to shift focus away from the maternal-health justifications for the law, the abortion industry and its enablers in the media have sought to pit mothers’ interests against those of their unborn children, intimating that, when considering and debating House Bill 2036, the Arizona legislature was concerned only with fetal pain and blatantly ignored — and even willfully endangered — women’s health.

The legislative history of the measure definitively disproves these claims. AUL senior counsel Clarke Forsythe testified before a committee of the Arizona legislature about the medical evidence documenting the dangers of late-term abortion to women.

The abortion industry’s legal challenge to Arizona’s late-term abortion limitation is a naked attempt to prop up its collapsing empire — an empire built on ignoring the needs of women and stridently seeking an unfettered right to perform and profit from abortions, including dangerous late-term abortions.

It has become increasingly clear that there is no abortion that the abortion industry will not perform or defend. From sex-selective abortions that disproportionately target baby girls to late-term abortions that endanger women’s lives and health, this scandal-ridden and ideologically driven industry will vociferously defend its right to continue to profit at the expense of women. And it is this recalcitrance that will ultimately help topple the house of cards upon which the abortion-on-demand regime is built.

— Denise M. Burke is Americans United for Life’s vice president of legal affairs. 


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