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Arizona Gov. Hobbs, Democrats call on Republicans to hear birth control bill

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Democratic lawmakers are calling on Republicans to consider a bill that would enshrine the right to obtain birth control products in state law. 

Sen. Priya Sundareshan and Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton sponsored the legislation, also called the Arizona’s Right to Contraception Act, in January. They say it would ensure that Arizonans’ reproductive health care decisions are kept between them and their doctors.

“Arizonans continue to see their reproductive freedoms under siege, though, as attacks creep forward across the country,” Sundareshan said, citing recent issues in other states.

In Alabama, where the state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are children, some in-vitro fertilization clinics in the state paused their operations. And in Missouri, Republican lawmakers tried to restrict access to contraceptives

Sundareshan said that contraceptives allowed her to start a family “when I was ready” after finishing school and starting her career.   

But the bills have not received committee hearings in the Republican-controlled Arizona House or Senate. That’s a crucial early step every bill has to pass in the process of becoming a law.

Hobbs said Republican leaders should bring the bill up for consideration.

“I urge you to think of your mothers, daughters, sisters and neighbors who deserve to have control of their own body,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs says she is concerned about efforts to restrict access to contraceptives and other reproductive healthcare services in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade.

Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.