Arizona is one of several states this spring that is considering legislation to completely ban abortions.
The State Press reports Rep. Walter Blackman, R-Snowflake, introduced a bill in January to declare that unborn babies are “persons” with legal rights from the moment of conception.
His pro-life bill, House Bill 2650, recognizes that a unique, living human being comes into existence at the moment of conception, and that human being deserves the same rights, guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, as any other person. It would ban abortions and allow abortionists who kill unborn babies to be charged with homicide.
Blackman said his bill also includes resources to help mothers and babies in difficult circumstances, according to the report. He said he amended the bill to include these resources and to remove language that would have allowed mothers to be charged with homicide as well as abortionists.
“I amended the bill to take the mother out of the equation when we’re talking about the law or being consequences under the law,” Blackman said. “The original bill said that the mother would be placed in jail. I disagree with that because there are other situations that may happen where that mother just cannot handle the pregnancy or handle the birth of the baby.”
The state lawmaker said he is especially troubled by the abortion rate in the African American community and the abortion industry’s targeting of unborn black babies and mothers.
Noting Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s discriminatory beliefs, he said there are “more Planned Parenthoods in black communities” today and “more ads that are directed to the black community to abort their baby rather than try to save their baby.”
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Abortion supporters slammed Blackman’s bill as unconstitutional. If the bill passes, it would be challenged in court and likely struck down as unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.
However, the infamous U.S. Supreme Court ruling does not reflect the views of most Americans. Across the country, voters have elected many state legislatures with strong pro-life majorities. According to the AP, 15 state legislatures are considering bills to ban abortions in all or almost all circumstances this year. Even more states already have passed heartbeat laws and total abortion bans in the past five years. Many other states also have passed laws to protect unborn babies and mothers from abortions in at least some circumstances.
Polls consistently show that Americans support strong limits on abortion. A 2019 Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive. Gallup polls also consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal.
Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.
Though a majority of the justices are Republican appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the liberal justices on a number of occasions.
In 1973, the Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.