Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes bill requiring abortionists to save babies born alive in botched abortions

Unsplash/Tim Bish
Unsplash/Tim Bish

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed a bill that would require abortionists to try and save the lives of babies who survive an abortion, arguing that it interfered with reproductive rights.

Hobbs vetoed Senate Bill 1600 on Thursday, claiming in an official letter sent to Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen claiming that the legislation was “uniformly opposed by the medical community” and it “interferes with the relationship between a patient and a doctor.”

“It’s simply not the state’s role to make such difficult medical decisions for patients. As a candidate I promised to veto any bill that interferes with the reproductive rights of Arizonans,” Hobbs added.

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Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy Action, a pro-life group, denounced Hobbs' veto, saying in a statement that the governor “just gave the okay to infanticide.”

“Newborns with life-threatening conditions are sometimes put on a ‘slow code,’ meaning they don’t get the medically appropriate treatment babies without the condition get. Death by neglect is not healthcare,” Herrod said.

“SB 1600 would have ensured those newborns got the chance to beat the odds and live. It is what every human deserves and what every parent expects from healthcare providers entrusted with the lives of new babies.”

Introduced in February, SB 1600 passed the Arizona Senate by a vote of 16-13 with one abstention and then the Arizona House by a vote of 32-26, with two abstentions.

The bill stated that a baby “born during the course of an abortion” will “be treated as a legal person under the laws of this state and shall have the same rights to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment.”

“Any health professional who is present at the time an infant is born alive shall take all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life and health of the infant who is born alive,” continued SB 1600.

“A health professional may not deprive any infant who is born alive, whether or not the infant is likely to survive, of medically appropriate and reasonable medical care or treatment.”

The legislation exempted medical professionals from providing life-saving care if it would only “temporarily prolong the act of dying when death is imminent.” The law would have also allowed the infant’s parents or guardian to refuse “to give consent to medical treatment or surgical care that is not medically necessary or reasonable.”

Arizona law currently prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks into a pregnancy.   

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