Arizona state senator tells chamber she needs abortion because pregnancy is ‘unviable’ – as she slams laws that forced her to take invasive tests and questionnaires designed to dissuade women from terminations

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Written By Maya Cantina

A Democratic Arizona state senator announced on the chamber floor she needs an abortion – then slammed her Republican colleagues for enacting laws that she said has made it difficult for her to obtain one.

Eva Burch, a mother of two, spoke on the senate floor on Monday about her decision to terminate her pregnancy because she is carrying an unviable fetus.

‘After numerous ultrasounds and blood draws we have determined that my pregnancy is, once again, not progressing and is not viable,’ she began. ‘And once again I have scheduled an appointment to terminate my pregnancy

‘I don’t think people should have to justify their abortions but I’m choosing to talk about why I made this decision because I want us to have meaningful conversations about the reality of how the work we do in this body impacts people in the real world.’ 

Democratic Arizona state senator, Eva Burch, announced on the chamber floor she needs an abortion and slammed her colleagues for the state law that has made receiving it difficult

Surrounded by other women from the state legislature, 

Burch, a registered nurse, said she is about eight weeks along in her pregnancy and was forced to undergo multiple invasive tests and lectured about alternatives to abortion in order to receive care.

Arizona state law bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and the state supreme court is set to rule on an 1864 law that imposes a near total ban on abortions this year.

‘The only reason I had to hear those things was a cruel and uninformed attempt by outside forces to shame and coerce and frighten me into making a different decision other than the one I knew was right for me,’ Burch said.

Eva Burch, a mother of two said she has to terminate her pregnancy because she is carrying an unviable fetus

Eva Burch, a mother of two said she has to terminate her pregnancy because she is carrying an unviable fetus

‘I was told that there were alternatives to abortion, parenting or adoption among them, as though delivering a healthy baby were an option for me. It is not.’ 

‘I don’t think people should have to justify their abortions, but I’m choosing to talk about why I made this decision because I want us to have meaningful conversations about the reality of how the work that we do in this body impacts people in the real world,’ she said.

Burch did not share further details of the fetus’s health issues, but indicated that it would not survive if she managed to carry it to full term.  

After the overturning on Roe v. Wade in 2022, Arizona enacted the law that bans abortions past 15 weeks and contains a penalty for physicians who violate the law, as they would face felony charges and potential suspension of their licenses, reported the Arizona Mirror.

Burch said she was forced to have an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound, told to considering parenting or adoption and is under a 24 hour waiting period before she can terminate her pregnancy because it is a requirement of the state law. 

The rules are designed to guilt-trip pregnant women into changing their mind about having an abortion, critics say.  

The state senator revealed details of her fertility journey including an experience she had two years ago when she learned a pregnancy she wanted to have would result n a miscarriage and she needed to have an abortion.

She said when she started miscarrying the night before her scheduled abortion she was denied the procedure at the hospital because although she was bleeding, she was not bleeding out and therefore not in critical condition.

‘There’s no one-size-fits-all script for people seeking abortion care, and the legislature doesn’t have any right to assign one,’ Burch said on the senate floor.

‘Doctors and patients should be making those determinations, not legislators who don’t have to suffer through the consequences themselves.’

‘All that the Legislature has done is to nurture distrust and confusion in the relationship between patients and providers and people who are vulnerable enough,’ she said.

Burch said she was forced to have an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound, told to considering parenting or adoption and is under a 24 hour waiting period before she can terminate her pregnancy because it is a requirement of the state law

Burch said she was forced to have an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound, told to considering parenting or adoption and is under a 24 hour waiting period before she can terminate her pregnancy because it is a requirement of the state law

Burch urged her colleagues to change the law and expressed her support for the ballot initiative that enshrined the right to an abortion

Burch urged her colleagues to change the law and expressed her support for the ballot initiative that enshrined the right to an abortion

While the Arizona Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether to reinstate the nearly 160-year old abortion ban, abortion rights advocates are looking to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that enshrine the right to an abortion up to viability, or 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The group leading the effort, Arizona for Abortion Access, must gather nearly 384,000 valid signatures by July 3 to get it on the ballot.

In January, the group said it had collected 250,000 signatures, reported NBC News. 

Burch urged her colleagues to change the law and expressed her support for the ballot initiative that enshrined the right to an abortion.

‘I call on this legislative body to pass laws that make sure every Arizonan has the opportunity to make decisions that are right for them,’ Burch said.

‘Our decision-making should be grounded in expert testimony and in consensus from both the medical community and from constituents, and free from political posturing and partisan bias. But that’s not what I see happening. So, I truly hope that Arizonans have the opportunity to weigh in on abortion on the ballot in November.’ 

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