Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law three bills that restrict abortions, limit gender reassignment surgeries, and block transgender athletes from participating in female sports.
Doctors who carry out abortions beyond 15 weeks face a class 6 felony charge and if convicted could spend a year in prison and lose their license to practice medicine. Meanwhile, women who receive an abortion after 15 weeks may not be prosecuted, according to the bill.
He has signed every pro-life bill that has reached his desk since taking office in 2015.
The latest bill, sponsored by state Sen. Nancy Barto, is modeled after a Mississippi law that’s currently being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is due to rule by the end of June on the law’s constitutionality.
Arizona's abortion ban explicitly states that it doesn’t overrule a state law that has been in place for over 100 years, which would automatically outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court fully overturns its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The Roe v. Wade ruling has enabled abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy nationwide.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a similar measure in his state on the same day.
“When it comes to sports and athletics, girls should compete against girls. Boys should compete against boys. And let's be very clear: That's all this bill says," Stitt said upon signing the bill. It will take effect immediately and applies to female sports teams in both high school and college.
Ducey also signed Senate Bill 1138, which bars gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Warren Petersen, doesn't prohibit prescriptions that those under age 18 may be taking to alter the characteristics of their biological sex, including puberty-blocking hormones or any other hormone therapy.
“The reason is simple, and common sense—this is a decision that will dramatically affect the rest of an individual’s life, including the ability of that individual to become a biological parent later in life," Ducey said of S.B. 1138.
"Distinguishing between an adult and a child in law, as this bill does, is not unique," the governor added. "Throughout law, children are protected from making irreversible decisions, including buying certain products or participating in activities that can have lifelong health implications. These decisions should be made when an individual reaches adulthood."