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The Arizona Legislature banned abortion after 15 weeks. Now what?

The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week that would ban abortion after 15 weeks. There are very few exceptions, even in the case of rape or incest. However, there is a narrow exception for medical emergencies. What’s next if Gov. Ducey signs the measure into law? 

Bré Thomas is the CEO of the Arizona Family Health Partnership, which provides low-cost/no-cost birth control. Thomas says the bill is unconstitutional.

"We just need to wait to see what the Supreme Court does, and then things will have to move forward from there," she said.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a similar law out of Mississippi. If that’s upheld, Thomas worries about the consequences.

"We don't have in place the social support systems for post delivery," she said. "We don't fund education, we don't fund child care. We don't fund women after 60 days are dropped off Medicaid if they don't qualify for the program. So they can't have additional health care or behavioral health care post 60 days." 

And that can leave women who are experiencing post-partum depression without solutions.

Thomas says women will still seek abortions; they’ll either be unsafe or women will travel out of state. She also says more comprehensive sex education and affordable birth control is needed.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.