BREAKING NEWS: CAP-Supported Bills Go Into Effect!

Statement by Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod

Several CAP-supported bills enacted during the 2017 legislative session become effective today, August 9th. These measures specifically promote the principles of life, freedom of conscience, religious freedom, and school choice.

SB 1439 End-of-life health care provider rights of conscience

Health care providers are not vending machines. Doctors and nurses are people expected to exercise their professional judgment when treating patients. Guarding the autonomy of health care professionals in following their consciences is a critical part of maintaining the integrity of the entire medical profession.

In addition, no one should have to choose between their profession and their religious beliefs. Health care professionals are tasked with weighty decisions. One decision they should never have to make is whether to abandon their conscience, moral code, or religious beliefs in order to keep their job.

Therefore, SB 1439 prohibits work-related discrimination against health care providers exercising their right of conscience by declining to provide medical care that could cause or assist in causing the death of an individual.

SB 1527 Title X funding

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards Title X monies to grantees for family planning services. In Arizona, the primary grantee is Arizona Family Health Partnership, a non-profit organization that historically has then awarded the grant monies to local health departments, federally qualified health centers, and Planned Parenthood of Arizona.

Although Planned Parenthood may not directly use the funding for abortion, American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Therefore, SB 1527 requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to apply for Title X funding, and if granted, to award the monies to health care providers that do not perform abortions.

SB 1367 Delivered alive

When a baby is delivered alive after an abortion, it is no longer an abortion; it is a birth. Doctors and nurses must be equipped to do everything they can to save the baby’s life. It would be inhumane to leave a premature baby without medical care while the baby takes his or her last breaths.

Therefore, SB 1367 strengthens Arizona’s law to ensure babies delivered alive following an abortion are provided life-saving care.

The law now defines “delivered alive” and requires doctors to report what measures were taken to save the baby’s life. The Arizona Department of Health Services will be required to create rules and procedures regarding neonatal resuscitation and minimum equipment standards for abortion clinics in order to comply with the law (these parts of the law will become effective when the rules and procedures have been established). The law also creates a cause of action for the mother (and her parents if she is a minor) if the law is not followed. The new law also allows the attorney general or a county attorney to file an action to enforce the law if violated.

SB 1431 ESA expansion

Upon receipt of reportedly over 111,000 signatures by the Secretary of State’s office from the organization Save Our Schools, this law will not go into effect today. Proponents of the ESA expansion will participate in the signature review process. We will keep you up to date on developments.

HB 2389 Homeschool diploma recognition

Arizona law recognizes a parent’s right to select the type of education the parent deems is best for their child, including district school, charter school, private school, homeschool, online, or Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program.

Therefore, HB 2389 requires all governmental entities to treat every Arizona school diploma and transcript equally, including homeschool diplomas and transcripts. Homeschoolers will no longer be denied employment, demoted, or fired from a government job for not having a diploma from a public or private school or a GED.

In addition to these CAP-supported bills, CAP successfully worked to oppose over 50 “bad bills” that undermined the foundational principles of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom.

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