Arizona abortion measure advances in House


Arizona is one step closer to making it illegal to perform abortions based on the gender or race of the fetus – a move that critics say is a solution in search of a problem.

But a majority of the Arizona House of Representatives on Monday agreed that there should be safeguards against such a procedure and passed House Bill 2443 a 41-18 vote.

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The bill would allow the father of an aborted baby - or, if the mother were a minor, the mother's parents - to file a civil action seeking damages against the doctor who performed the abortion.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, said the law was needed to protect against “bigotry and prejudice.” He pointed to a 2010 Economist magazine article on “gender-cide” – which documented a bias against female babies – and a Planned Parenthood study that he said concluded that 42 percent of Black babies are aborted as reasons why the legislation is needed.

But the magazine article focused on practices in China and India, and Montenegro could not immediately provide the Planned Parenthood study, which he said was based on national statistics.

Democrats said the legislation was not needed. There’s no evidence health-care providers are aborting babies because of their race or gender, said Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson, a physician.