As Catholics count down the final days until Easter, their bishops welcomed new pro-life legislation signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey March 30.
SB 1318, a measure that ensures taxpayer dollars do not fund abortions, was enacted just as Catholics turn their hearts toward Resurrection Sunday, which marks the triumph of Christ over sin and death.
The new law also includes a provision that women must be informed that the effects of the abortion pill can possibly be reversed.
In a statement signed by the six Catholic bishops who comprise the Arizona Catholic Conference, including Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares of the Diocese of Phoenix, the bishops expressed their gratitude for the new legislation.
“SB 1318 is a simple bill that better protects taxpayers not wanting to subsidize abortion. We are grateful that Arizona continues to be a state that values innocent life from conception until natural death, and that SB 1318 has been signed into law,” the statement read.
Jason Walsh, executive director of Arizona Right to Life, said that polls indicate the public opposes taxpayer-funded abortion.
“The left will want to make us look like we’re the radicals, but when it comes to protecting innocent human life, that’s what the bill really focuses on,” Walsh said.
Ron Johnson, executive director of the ACC, said the provision in the law about informed consent vis-a-vi the abortion pill was no guarantee of reversal.
“We heard testimony in committee from a doctor who said he had a patient come to him from Planned Parenthood who changed her mind.”
“There never is, but there are women who regret it,” Johnson said. “We heard testimony in committee from a doctor who said he had a patient come to him from Planned Parenthood who changed her mind.”
At the clinic, the woman was told there was “no possibility of reversal but she pulled out her smart phone, googled ‘abortion pill reversal’ and found out there was indeed something. She went to see a doctor and saved the baby,” Johnson said. “The claims by some that there is no evidence is absurd because there is evidence. It’s just relatively new.”
Dr. Alan Sawyer, an obstetrician-gynecologist who testified in favor of SB 1318, also wrote an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic praising the new law. Sawyer and Dr. Clint Leonard, a fellow OB-GYN who co-authored the article, stated that they had both administered the abortion pill reversal regimen to women who regretted taking the first abortion pill and that “to date, over 80 live births have been recorded” and that “there are more than 60 healthy pregnancies because of the abortion pill reversal.”
Arizona is the first state to require health care providers inform women of the possibility of reversal of the abortion pill’s effects.