What a week. Arizona lawmakers on various House and Senate committees heard several CAP-supported bills, passing all of them out of their respective committees and sending them onto the next step in the legislative process.
Each one was a battle, as we faced opposition on even what should have been the least controversial bills. SB 1254 ensures Arizona Department of Health Services provides easy and accessible information about adoption on it’s website. Still, some opposed it.
Life-Affirming SB 1457
One of the week’s main hurdles was getting SB 1457 through the AZ Senate Judiciary Committee. This is truly a great life-affirming bill. It would prohibit abortions based on genetic abnormalities like Down syndrome; it prohibits do-it-yourself abortions by banning the dispensing of the abortion pill through the mail; it prohibits using taxpayer money to support abortion providers or affiliates; it ensures the respectful treatment of the aborted baby’s remains; and it ensures women are not punished for getting an abortion.
Among those who testified was Mackenzie Buss, who suffered great regret and severe complications from the abortion pill. The incomplete abortion caused seven infections and could have proven fatal, had she gotten the pills through the mail instead of seeing a doctor for an exam. She said, “ I thought I was dying.” Now, Mackenzie speaks out against abortion, helping women avoid similar pain, regret, and danger.
Kristen Plamondon testified about the unique pleasures of raising her 10-year-old son, Carter, who has Down syndrome. Kristen’s touching story exhibited the virtues described by two doctors who testified to the truth about prenatal diagnosis, quality and value of all human life.
But the real-life stories were lost on some of the most ardent abortion activisits at the hearing. Progressive lobbyist Marilyn Rodriguez attacked the bill’s sponsor, Senator Nancy Barto, saying she should be ashamed and should apologize for the bill. That drew an official rebuke from Committee Chair Warren Peterson.
Senator Quezada complained about the prohibition of aborting baby’s like Carter, saying, “We’re wasting time on stuff like this. If we truly cared about improving the lives of people that have disabilities, we would work with.. professionals to increase opportunities in education and employment.”
Hopefully that means Senator Quezada will vote in favor of several other CAP-supported bills that do just that. SB 1041 helps more students with disabilities get the education they need. SB 1251/HB 2404 helps meet the practical needs of pregnant women so they can choose life.
So, the Senator’s concerns are, in fact, being addressed in other bills. I’m sure families like Carter’s do not see SB 1457 as a “waste of time.”
Life-Saving SB 1251/ HB 2404
Similar opposition failed to stop SB 1251/HB 2404, which would provide funding for a Family Health Pilot Program to help meet the practical and emotional needs of women seeking an abortion, so they can choose life. Tina Stephens testified that she would have a 12-year-old son or daughter today if such services where available when she “made the biggest mistake of [her] life” and got an abortion.
From the opposition we heard vicious attacks on pregnancy resource centers, and calls for “better ways to spend $3 million.”
Educational Freedom Provider SB 1452
Headlines screamed foul as proponents of SB 1452 offered to fill in the gaps for the 50,000 Arizona public school students who have fallen through the cracks during the COVID-19 shutdown. The bill would include low-income students among those eligible for an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) so they can get back to class. It also passed out of committee.
Several more CAP-supported bills will be heard over the next two weeks. They include a prohibition on sex education in k-4th grades, and a religious freedom bill.
Follow each bill’s progress on our bill tracker.
SB 1426/HB 2487 would prohibit professional counseling for Arizonans struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity issues.
- Read here what President Biden’s pick for Education Secretary said about biological boys pushing girls out of competitive sports.
- Read here CAP’s response to AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman’s op-ed on biological males competing in girls’ sports.
- The Goldwater Institute Shines a Light on Schools Curriculum and its left-leaning agenda. See CAP-supported SB 1058, which calls for more curriculum transparency in Arizona public schools.
- Goldwater Institute explores why opponents criticize SB 1452 (above) for “helping too many students.”
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