We Can Protect the Most Vulnerable From Discrimination, and Make Women’s Safety a Priority

Remember when the abortion industry grieved the deaths of women performing their own abortions in back alleys? It was a battle cry for legal abortion throughout the country that eventually led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade.

Today, those same voices cry for do-it-yourself abortions through the mail. The hanger replaced by a pill, and the argument flipped on its head. The abortion industry has found a lucrative alternative to surgical abortions, and suddenly, leaving women to fend for themselves doesn’t seems so bad.

But it is bad. Mackenzie Buss was just 21 when she took the abortion pills. She testified at a state senate committee hearing late last month that she ended up bleeding and in pain, curled up in a bathtub after taking the pills. She said she lay there thinking she was dying. During her follow up doctor visit, she learned the pills were not completely effective. She needed medical attention right away to remove the remaining tissue. Mackenzie suffered seven infections from the ordeal. If those abortion pills were sent to her through the mail without a doctor’s visit, the result could have been life threatening.

Regretful, and determined to use her voice, Mackenzie finds healing in warning others of the shame and silent suffering of chemical abortion.

According to a report in the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons, women who take the abortion pill are four times more likely to suffer complications than those who get surgical abortions. A doctor’s visit both before and after are crucial to rule out high-risk circumstances. For example, if a woman with an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy takes the abortion pill, she is in danger of serious complications, including death. If she misjudges the gestational age of the unborn child beyond 10 weeks, she could end up in surgery. An Oxford Academic study found more than 38% of second trimester chemical abortions resulted in surgery, compared to about 8% in the first trimester.  And, as Mackenzie testified, an incomplete abortion can lead to infection, and untreated, could prove fatal.

I sponsored SB 1457 to ensure the abortion pill is not sent through the mail, leaving women scared and alone with a dangerous DIY abortion.

The bill not only protects women, it protects the unborn from discrimination. It prohibits abortion based on genetic abnormalities, like Down syndrome. These kinds of abortions reduce a child to a single aspect, and judges them on that alone.

Denmark and Iceland abort almost all unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. In the U.S., the number is about 67%. What a tragedy.

Kristen Plamondon recently testified of the unexpected joys of raising her 12-year old son who has Down syndrome, “I crave each day with Carter, he shows me so much that I wish you all could know.  He has taught me a fighting love, a voice for his future, how to look into the eyes of disability and approach it with calm and ease.  He has motivated me to wrestle with my own pride, with what the world had engrained in me to think is best, and he has brought me to my knees humbled time and time again.”

Arizona should stand up for those like Carter, joining other states that have passed similar prohibitions against blatant discrimination of those with disabilities. Passing SB 1457 acknowledges our fellow Arizonans with disabilities are equally as worthy of life as any of us.

SB 1457 ensures Arizona laws are interpreted in the context of valuing all human life, because women deserve commonsense safety precautions, and those with disabilities deserve a chance to live.


About Nancy Barto 1 Article
Arizona State Senator Nancy Barto represents the people of LD 15.