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Intro: "Under Arizona's H.B. 2036, the state would recognize the start of the unborn child's life to be the first day of its mother's last menstrual period. The legislation is being proposed so that lawmakers can outlaw abortions on fetuses past the age of 20 weeks, but the verbiage its authors use to construct a time cycle for the baby would mean that the start of the child's life could very well occur up to two weeks before the mother and father even ponder procreating."

Under a new Arizona bill the start of an unborn child's life will begin 2 weeks prior to conception. (photo: public domain)
Under a new Arizona bill the start of an unborn child's life will begin 2 weeks prior to conception. (photo: public domain)

GOP Bill Declares Pregnancies Begin Two Weeks Before Conception

By RT News

11 April 12


On Tuesday afternoon this bill passed the Arizona House. Having already passed in the Senate, the bill now moves to Gov. Jan Brewer (R) for her signature or veto. The bill defines gestational age as 'calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman,' which would put the beginning of a pregnancy at two weeks prior to conception. The bill bans abortion after 18 weeks and includes no exceptions if the fetus is found to have a life-threatening condition. 18 weeks is too early to conduct many medical tests which would detect abnormalities. Brewer has a long commitment to pro-life issues. -- CW/RSN


new bill up for vote in the state of Arizona would ban abortions for some expectant mothers, but that’s only the start of what lawmakers have in store. If the legislation passes, the state will consider a child to exist even before conception.

Under Arizona’s H.B. 2036, the state would recognize the start of the unborn child’s life to be the first day of its mother’s last menstrual period. The legislation is being proposed so that lawmakers can outlaw abortions on fetuses past the age of 20-weeks, but the verbiage its authors use to construct a time cycle for the baby would mean that the start of the child's life could very well occur up to two weeks before the mother and father even ponder procreating.

On page eight of the proposed amendment to H.B. 2036, lawmakers lay out the "gestational age" of the child to be "calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman," and from there, outlaws abortion "if the probable gestational age of [the] unborn child has been determined to be at least twenty weeks."

The architects of the amendment say that prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks — except in cases of medical emergency — is necessary for the safety of both mother and child. By designating a life to begin weeks before even possible, however, some critics are condemning Arizona lawmakers for looking for a way to involve itself in abortion matters before it can even become an issue.

"Certainly, they are trying move the gestational cutoff from what had been over the last two years a 20-week gestational cutoff to an 18-week gestational cutoff," Guttmacher Institute’s State Issues Manager Elizabeth Nash tells Raw Story. "At the same time, they are trying to say, ‘Oh, this is a 20-week abortion ban.’ And they get away with that with the definition of gestational age that’s in the bill."

"Considering that it’s anti-choice nuts we’re talking about, it’s safe to assume that they’d simply prefer a situation where all women of reproductive age are considered to be pregnant, on the grounds that they could be two weeks from now," RH Reality Check’s Amanda Marcotte adds in a recently-penned editorial. "Better safe than sorry, especially if that mentality means you get to exert maximum control over the bodies of women of reproductive age."

In extending her support for the legislation, however, sponsor Nancy Barto, a Republican senator representing the Phoenix, Arizona area says that fetuses are able to feel pain after the 20-week mark. Also favoring the proposal, Senator Steve Smith (R-Maricopa) adds that lawmakers also need to consider "the 50 million-plus children who have been killed" since the US Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v Wade.

"I would like to listen to the 50 million-plus children that have been aborted and killed since Roe v. Wade,'' the senator says."I would like to listen to what they think of this bill.''

Mother Jones adds in their own reporting, however, that while the law could be explained as an effort to deter complications that come from late-term abortions, opening up the window for the gestational age to begin before conception can hurt the parents in the long run. Essentially the act would outlaw abortion after 18 weeks, not 20 as the legislation claims, which could keep some concerned parents from making a decision about pregnancy before some medical procedures that gauge the health of the child are able to be determined. While some tests can be conducted soon after conception to catch potential life-threatening conditions and other impairments, outlawing abortions after the eighteenth week could keep parents from opting for abortion after other tests can be carried out (before the 20-week mark).

H.B. 2036 passed in the Arizona Senator by 20-to-10 and will soon go before the state’s House. To Raw Story, Elizabeth Nash says she believes the bill has a "very good chances of passage." your social media marketing partner


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+63 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-11 10:02
The lesson of all this is that if you are pregnant and have any doubts at all about carrying to term, abort NOW before it is too late.

You can always get pregnant again, but if you wait too long for an abortion than you could end up being trapped with a child that you don't want, is defective, or can't be handled by you circumstances.

Maybe it's best to get your tubes tied or have you partner get a vasectomy just to eliminate risk of being trapped in an unwanted pregnancy. What if you lose your job -- increasingly likely -- and can no longer afford a child, in a society where you can't get any help because all the social services are gone, or you aren't rich enough to afford medical care, or send the tyke to college?
(And what child would want to grow up in a country run by fascists or Republicans anyway?)

Better safe than sorry -- abort NOW! It's the conservative thing to do.
+21 # NanFan 2012-04-12 13:03
Quoting bluepilgrim:
abort NOW! It's the conservative thing to do.

Best new slogan I've heard in years!

You know, I feel as if we're trapped in a surreal spin that is getting more and more surreal by the day...and so, so scary. America is reeling out of control more and more, and I feel as if I can only watch its demise, because no one in power is listening to "wiser, reasonable minds"; they're all brain dead!

But to stay silent, to do nothing, would be the greatest oppression. As Robert Reich has said, our expressions of outrage about these things is good, but it is now time to go beyond outrage and to act to keep these dim bulbs who want to destroy our country (and are doing just that at every turn) OUT of office.


+7 # AMLLLLL 2012-04-13 19:32
Here's my bumper sticker:
+45 # cadan 2012-04-11 10:29
Maricopa is also the county that that crazy sheriff is from, isn't it?

Anyhow it is very hard to understand how people can be so fixated on fetuses but apparently care not one little bit about raising the children. That's my impression anyway, but i'd appreciate being corrected if Steve Smith has a record of supporting child care, education, and training of Arizonans (including of course non-Anglos).
+64 # ABen 2012-04-11 10:55
I have lived in AZ for nearly four decades, and, as my wife puts it, watching the clown show of the current AZ legislature is like having and out-of-body experience. I can't wait for this group of blind mice to declare that the Earth really is flat and re-institute witchcraft trials.
+45 # Bejeebers 2012-04-11 10:56
Arizona legislators, deep red politically, would like to take the state back to the 19th century. For this group of largely middle-aged white males, it's not enough to defund education, children's health & meals and aid to the unemployed & homeless. They even claim the right to determine what a woman is able to choose to do with her own body.

Their definition of when life begins (2 wks before conception) is typical of their actions. It's stupid at best and a pander to the twisted values of their right wing evangelical supporters at worst. As an Arizonan, we've come to expect this from the clown chorus we call our legislators. Truly sad...
+13 # Rick Levy 2012-04-11 18:39
Before you begin attacking middle aged white males, look again at the backers of this legislation: Nancy Barto, and Governor Jan Brewer, both Republican WOMEN.
+46 # jwb110 2012-04-11 11:11
Social Psychopaths should not qualify for public office.
+38 # dick 2012-04-11 11:23
What next? How do they plan to enFORCE this? Menstrual Monitors? Maybe AZ can hire some of the Morality Goon Squad from Afghanistan & Saudi Arabia. OBVIOUSLY, based on their positions on healthcare,etc. ,etc.,etc., these opportunists care NOTHING for human life. Are they pandering to voters, St.Peter?
We are going to have to BOYCOTT Florida, Tenn, & now the Grand Canyon state? They'll be monitoring menstruation & giving ultra-sounds & pregnancy tests at state borders & airports. The Three Stooges States are making their move.
+1 # TNTruth 2012-04-15 10:19
Tennessee has been a Three Stooges State nearly all of the past 3+ decades. We have been winning the race to the bottom in most progressive areas. We're not just dark red, we're literally blood red. The previous Gov. was a Democrat to the right of most of the Republicans. In his personal plan to run for Pres. in 08, he destroyed the state's health care program, abruptly terminating 200,000 of the poorest, sickest, and disabled, resulting in 500-700 unnecessary or very premature deaths per year(now more than the4,000+ deaths that the US had of casualties in Iraq);correct term for TN deaths is genocide. On the brighter side we revisit the Scopes Trial nearly every legislative session to require the teaching of Creationism as "another possible theory".
+53 # in deo veritas 2012-04-11 11:56
The American people must wake up and realize what is at stake for their state and the entire country in the 2012 election. The republican party has been taken over by neofascists who want to drag us back into the dark ages or even further. Their attacks on women show that they are no different than the muslims they condemn and are desperate to get into an all-out war against. Their only goal in banning abortion is to assure more slave laborers and cannon fodder to further their megalomania. It is obvious that they care nothing about those who ARE born, especially if they have any health issues. Unless they are removed from office-and soon- America is doomed. Even those of us who are not happy with President Obama's performance so far must seriously think how bad it will get should the GOP steal another election or get complete control of Congress. THINK ABOUT IT!
+26 # erogers 2012-04-11 12:39
Two weeks before conception. This is kinda like the Easter Bunny and Immaculate Conception ll rolled into one. Where the hell did these nutcases get an education, a box of Cracker Jacks. NEVER EVER spend a dime in the insane state called Arizona.
+14 # rockieball 2012-04-11 12:40
I think their should be a vote. Because of the laws they have passed and the news from their state, which one is the worst to live in Arizona or Florida?
+16 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2012-04-11 13:57
It looks like it is official; the REPUGS are PLUM NUTS!!!


+32 # MJnevetS 2012-04-11 14:04
ATTENTION AZ LEGISLATORS! Gestational age is a SCIENTIFIC term. You can't just 'make up' what it means because you don't believe in science. Speak to a doctor. While gestational age is approximated by reference to the last menstrual cycle, THEREAFTER, it is confirmed or CHANGED based upon a sonogram which is evaluated and thereafter the gestational age may be adjusted to reflect the new evidence which would give rise, empirically, to a better estimation. Further, there are women who have infrequent menstrual cycles based upon many factors (i.e. body weight, medication, illness, etc.) Are you suggesting that a marathon runner (who often won't experience regular menses) who indicates that her last menstrual cycle was 6 months earlier, is beyond the 20 week period even though by ultrasound, the child's gestational age is 12 weeks? When a legislator or ANY branch of government (judiciary and executive branch included), who have no medical knowledge, tells a doctor (lots of medical knowledge) how they have to do a medical calculation, or perform a medical procedure, which may be contrary to their medical knowledge and training, people will be harmed.
+15 # dick 2012-04-11 14:32
Surely there are MANY wonderful people in FL,AZ,&TN. Surely tiny minorities of whackos are embarrassing their good neighbors into action. Likewise AL,MS,GA,SC,WY & others. Even if not, surely the rest of us see this is no time to remain on the sidelines, even if the seriously disturbed nutcases are entertaining. Send $$ to Wisc,Mass,Neb,M ontana,RSN, & select others.
+8 # bostechie 2012-04-13 08:21
Quoting dick:
even if the seriously disturbed nutcases are entertaining.

I beg to differ - these people are dangerous and a real threat to our liberties. I find nothing entertaining in that.
+12 # feloneouscat 2012-04-11 14:49
I would like to listen to the 50 million-plus children that have been aborted and killed since Roe v. Wade,'' the senator says."I would like to listen to what they think of this bill.
As bad as Kay Bailey Hutchinson saying "I only listen to the silent majority"... WHAT?!?
+19 # Glen 2012-04-11 15:17
Pro Life. Hells bells, life is all around us. Life begins with any cell, even those of a turtle. How about the seeds of a marijuana plant? Why is it these people deem single CELLS to be future life.

Ovulation does not occur until right at two weeks AFTER menstruation. So - are women going to be responsible for every damn ovum in their ovaries, but men get a pass on every sperm?

Most of those legislating life don't even know the difference between a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus. That's because they have no clue what is involved in science, especially human biology.
-7 # Colleen Clark 2012-04-11 17:01
I'm sorry to be a wonky spoil sport but pregnancy is conventionally counted from the date of the last menstrual period, although of course ovulation doesn't even occur until about 2 weeks later and implantation into the uterus after another 8-10 days. The "due date" is 40 weeks from the date of the last period. Check out pregnancy calculators on line. So the AZ legislature is making a big do about nothing.

I don't mean to validate efforts by AZ and other states to take away from women the rights to their own bodies etc. But in terms of how the weeks of pregnancy are counted they have changed a thing.
+17 # chrisconnolly 2012-04-11 19:28
Such legislative idiocy. Did AZ get taken over by the nuthouse imbeciles? How much more can the republicans degenerate before we rise up and shake them off like the mental fleas they are? I am afraid of what is in store for my children. We are losing our brains to processed foods and our minds to Fox new.
+16 # CL38 2012-04-11 21:32
The lesson of all this is that anyone who votes for the GOP in November is ensuring the final stages of a Nazi-like takeover of the country.

+17 # Skeeziks 2012-04-12 10:01
If the G.O.P. cares so much about the abortion of the unborn, then I suggest that they also should back a law saying that all unwanted birth children brought to term, must be cared for throughout their lives providing complete health care, home care and education through the age of twenty-six.
0 # Anarchist 23 2012-04-12 10:59
Fascism is the control of every aspect of people's lives-certainly this bill is a totalitarian Fascist nightmare. AZ is a Fascist state. Sorry, folks, voting is NOT going to fix it-we have not seen a principled stand against the forces of destruction from either party. Obama OK'd the Texas (another Fascist state) part of the Keystone Pipeline-do you think that somehow the rest of the connecting parts to the world's biggest carbon disaster will not be built? No one in either party with any political recognition or clout is standing up for the rights of earth or the creatures living on it in this country. OTOH, if the Fuk-U-Shima #4 storage pit goes into meltdown-all this and all hope will probably be academic.
+15 # magdow 2012-04-12 13:39
Next they will make it a law that pregnancies begins the moment your mothers, mothers, mother thinks about have a crush on her classmate in the first grade. COME ON THIS IS GETTING TO BE ....@#%$#%%!!!!
+6 # rdm 2012-04-12 14:20
Clearly, this legislature intends to define the medical literature describing pregnancy. not only passes law defining gestational age, it makes specific reference to the literature, such as "L. Bartlett et al., Risk factors for legal induced abortion-relate d mortality in the United States, Obstetrics & Gynecology 103(4):729–737 (2004)." and "J. Pregler & A. DeCherney, Women's Health: Principles and Clinical Practice 232 (2002)."
+5 # Texas Aggie 2012-04-12 23:28
This adds a whole new dimension to the right wing concept that life begins at conception.
+1 # Wolfchen 2012-04-13 11:52
More hanky-panky by the Yankee Taliban...just when we thought they couldn't offer up more proof of their sluggish ways. They give new meaning to the concept of mentally and morally challenged.
+2 # Wolfchen 2012-04-13 12:10
Nation of exceptionality, indeed. It may very well be that the Southern slave holding states did win the war. Since they've been able to spread their ignorance throughout the land, our country has largely been paralyzed in its attempt to ensure the availability of universal health care and quality education for all citizens. We have more in common with Canada then we do with some parts of our nation. What a tragedy with no equitable resolution in sight.
+3 # mudwoman 2012-04-14 10:41
"The Handmaid's Tale" sounded pretty over the top when first published in the mid-80s. These days, notsomuch.

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