Monday, July 20, 2009

New Arizona Law Hinders Access to Abortion Services

Huffington Post op-ed: New Arizona Law Restricts Access to a Range of Reproductive Health Services, by Sharon Camp (Guttmacher Institute):

On July 13, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a measure that establishes--among other restrictions on access to sexual and reproductive health services--an in-person counseling requirement and a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion. Proponents of the new law claim that it helps inform women's abortion decisions. In truth, however, this distortion of the informed consent process only hinders access to abortion services.

The real impact of policies requiring a 24-hour delay between in-person counseling and the abortion procedure--that is, two visits in two days--is to force women to take more time off from work, arrange additional child care or stay away from home overnight when the distance to the clinic is great. Several studies conducted in Mississippi consistently found that an in-person counseling requirement was associated with more abortions being obtained out-of-state and more being performed during the second trimester.

Other Guttmacher studies have shown that disadvantaged women who have trouble raising the funds for their abortion frequently take up to three weeks longer than better-off women to obtain an abortion . . . .

Abortion, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Poverty, State and Local News | Permalink

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