Arizona legislature passes bills banning abortion after 15 weeks, trans surgery for minors

Oklahoma lawmakers also passed a bill that would ban abortions at every stage of pregnancy unless necessary to save the mother's life

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The Arizona State Legislature passed legislation Thursday that bans abortion after 15 weeks, gender reassignment surgeries for minors and transgender students playing on sports teams that aligns with their gender identity.

In a vote along party lines, the state House voted in favor of a bill that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, echoing a Mississippi law now before the Supreme Court.

The abortion ban bill clarifies that it does not overrule a previous state law in place for more than a century that would ban abortion completely if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

IDAHO STATE LEGISLATURE PASSES SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN

Built in 1900, the Arizona State Capitol was created to demonstrate that the Arizona Territory was ready for statehood. The building is made largely from materials indigenous to the area, including granite, and the copper dome.

Built in 1900, the Arizona State Capitol was created to demonstrate that the Arizona Territory was ready for statehood. The building is made largely from materials indigenous to the area, including granite, and the copper dome. (Douglas Sacha via Getty Images)

The bill heads next to Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican who opposes abortion and has signed each piece of anti-abortion legislation that has come to his desk.

The bill makes no exception in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency.

Democratic state Rep. Denise Epstein, who opposed the law, said Thursday during debate on the House floor that she is "becoming more frightened by the moment by this bill."

FILE - In this April 15, 2021, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix on April 15, 2021.

FILE - In this April 15, 2021, file photo, Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix on April 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

"I’m terrified that this bill would outlaw health care for a woman having a naturally occurring and tragic and horrible miscarriage, and they would not be allowed to get this health care," she said.

State Sen. Nancy Barto, who sponsored the legislation, said, "The state has an obligation to protect life, and that is what this bill is about."

The Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban abortions at every stage of pregnancy unless it is necessary to save the mother's life. Like the controversial Texas law, it would also allow private citizens to sue doctors who perform abortions.

SUPREME COURT LETS CHALLENGE TO TEXAS ABORTION LAW PROCEED, ALLOWS LAW TO REMAIN IN EFFECT

The Arizona House also voted Thursday to pass bills that ban gender reassignment surgery for anyone younger than 18. Allowing transgender students from participating on the sports team that aligns with their gender identity was also outlawed.

Pennsylvania's Lia Thomas, right, is congratulated by Harvard's Samantha Shelton after Thomas set a meet and pool record in the 200-yard freestyle final at Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Cambridge, Mass.

Pennsylvania's Lia Thomas, right, is congratulated by Harvard's Samantha Shelton after Thomas set a meet and pool record in the 200-yard freestyle final at Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

"This bill to me is all about biology," said Republican state Rep. Shawnna Bolick. "In my opinion, it's unfair to allow biological males to compete with biological girls sports."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.