On Saturday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed a bill, sponsored by Representative Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix) and Senator Nancy Barto (R), requiring that doctors offer every woman considering an abortion an ultrasound and the option to hear the fetal heartbeat, if detected. The bill also prohibits medical providers from prescribing mifepristone, also known as RU-486 or the abortion pill, remotely through telemedicine.
Michelle Steinberg, public policy manager and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Arizona, stated that the telemedicine provision will place increased and unnecessary restrictions on low-income women and women in rural areas who seek abortions. Steinberg clarified, “This will make [abortion] unavailable in any place but Phoenix and Tucson. This isn’t going to make it any safer for women.”
The bill signing occurred at a fundraiser for the Center for Arizona Policy, a nonprofit organization that supported the ultrasound legislation. Brewer described her “consistent track record of support for pro-life legislation” at the event.