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Pregnancy at Conception? Nope, Says Arizona

Posted on Apr 14, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jan Brewer and the Arizona Legislature performed a biological miracle Thursday when they decided that pregnancy begins at menstruation—not the moment of conception—in a pack of adjustments to abortion regulations that will ban most of the procedures 20 weeks after the start of a woman’s last period.

Abortions after that time will be legal only when they are deemed necessary to prevent the mother’s death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Ultrasounds will also be required 24 hours before the procedures. —ARK

Tuscon Citizen:

Planned Parenthood of Arizona lobbyist Michelle Steinberg called the law the country’s “most extreme piece of anti-abortion legislation.”

She said the law defines pregnancy in a way that bans abortion two weeks before the other seven states with similar laws, because it calculates gestational age starting with the first day of the last menstrual period rather than the date of conception.

During the hearings on the bill, doctors said many women don’t discover their fetus has a severe or life-threatening problem until an ultrasound at about the 20th week. The doctors — and several women who had faced this issue — testified that this law would arbitrarily cut off the right for these women to have an abortion.

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By berniem, April 16, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

All that I can say at this point is that I am a citizen of the US of A but sure as hell no longer an Amerikan! And to think that so many in this nation have the gall to think of others in this world as ignorant and uncivilized. Republican, conservative, t-bagger, or whatever the hell you call yourselves, you’re nothing but a bunch of reactionary whackos who are not only embarassing, but have become quite dangerous, sorta like those creatures in the “Walking Dead”! Good thing the 2nd Amendment goes both ways! FREE BRADLEY MANNING & TIM DeCHRISTOPHER!!!!!

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By Leefeller, April 16, 2012 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Geebibiz on a cracker, My hearty thanks to the Catholic Crush and Political cretins who believe a women’s body is theirs to legally or spiritually control, manipulate and order about like so much minimum waged help. 

After reading Shes comprehensive post, much more than I ever wanted to know and never would have asked, me thinks uncomfortably, I can call me-self an expert of little importance on the concept of women’s biology and never ever on what women are thinking, wanting nor am I stupid enough to ever attempt to speak for women even with uncertainty.

Though after learning all this women biology,... me could say I am a reluctant expert on the subject. Being a male such as myself, allows me to construe myself an expert on the subject equal to those lofty self proclaimed gynecologist’s in Congress and other havens for self righteous half wits!

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By Shenonymous, April 16, 2012 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

The cited article indicates that current law also allows abortions
beyond that to protect the “life or health of the woman” but health
is not defined,” so it can be assumed that health means physical…
and mental.  Therefore, a woman’s mental disorder must be
considered a legal reason for an abortion.  What is considered a
mental disorder is also not clearly defined.
Arizona Measure Bans Abortion After 20 Weeks - MedPage Today,
April 12, 2012

The bill defines gestational age as “the age of the unborn child as calcu-
lated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant
woman.”  Since a woman’s period (menstruation) may come late or be
missed for a month, it is indeterminate that the first day of a period is
a reasonable and certainly not an absolute measure of pregnancy. 
Reasons for late menstruation include a significant gain or loss of
weight, fatigue, hormonal complications, tension/stress, forgetting
to take a birth control pill, overly active exercise, certain illnesses,
infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and can happen during a
period of breastfeeding which is also not a defined period of time.

This law is all the more reason for women, except those, either by
choice or by coercion, who are under the authority of a theological
doctrine such as the Right-Wing Christian Conservatives or any other
religion’s patronistic beliefs, commands women have no right to a
personal opinion.  Again, this is all the more essential and vital reason
for conscious American women to make sure they elect politicians who
are committed to the right of women to be in supreme and absolute
possession of their own bodies.  It is critical and that vote is now, this
year.  The word needs to be spread and publicly voiced.

What is being promoted is the denial that women, who are more than
50% of the population (actually in America is 55%) are incapable of
making decisions about their own bodies.  This is a reference to
women’s mental capacity and is egregious as men’s mental capacities
are never question with respect to the law.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

and every time you go there, it does.

conception begins at the moment of menarche is probably next .

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By Marian Griffith, April 16, 2012 at 3:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Women’s rights organisations should start sueing very state that has a ‘pregnancy at conception’ law for failing to prosecute murder cases.

After all, every woman who has unprotected sex (the only type she is allowed to have according to the sexist hicks who write this sort of laws) and failed to get pregnant must have done something to cause the embryo to ‘die’.
Considering that even in a healthy young woman only 1 in 4 fertilisations is viable that is a lot of potential murder cases that the state allows to go on without prosecution…

And of course the men should be accused as being an accomplish to murder. Without their help the murder of the 1 day old embryo could not have taken place.

(I am still trying to figure out if the state legislator was serious or attempting to show the idiocy of life at conception laws, when she tried to get the republicans in her state to accept that life starts at the sperm and that men should not allow to leave it anywhere but in a woman’s vagina ... Needless to say that the prospect of having to do without their favourite passtime lead to the male legislators to instantly squash that idea that a woman could actually have anything sensible to say about reproduction and men’s rights regarding sexuality)

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By diamond, April 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

Christ! Why don’t these tyrants go and get into bed with women and tell them how and when to have sex and supervise their use of contraceptives while they’re at it. Disgusting just doesn’t cover this madness. And then they have the hide to talk about Muslim fundamentalists: from where I’m standing, Christian fundamentalists are every bit as reactionary and sexist and just as dedicated to enslaving women.

Yes, ITW, Truthdig has lost its nerve and shame on them for their blatant cowardice. But look on the bright side: it will make it so much easier for the CIA.

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By reflections, April 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a while AZ seemed funny.  Not so funny now.

That poor Governor must have White-out all over her computer screen.

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By Cliff Carson, April 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Arizona, the land of the craziest Republicans.  I think what they just said was that a pregnancy begins at menstruation, instead of the moment of conception, is that correct?

And the GOP wants you to vote them into office?

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By moonraven, April 15, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

I just returned from a week in Arizona.

Every time I go there I am convinced the collective IQ of folks in that state has dropped about 50 points.

It is now heading for single digit.

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By ARrrr, April 15, 2012 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So… every woman who does not get pregnant since her has period basically
allows the ovum to die and therefore is basically giving herself an abortion… I
presume?!?  We are going to have a lot of very very guilty women… not to mention
a lot of guilty virgin girls too… throw them all in prison!!!  The only plausible
solution is to keep every since girl and woman of childbearing age pregnant at all
times to avoid this moral hazard!

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By prisnersdilema, April 15, 2012 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

This must be why so many Americans feel an imperative to destroy the Taliban.
Because there is an element of American society, that’s just the flip side of their extreme
fundamentalist views. And looking at them is like looking into a mirror, and they don’t
want to see that.

They both want to live in the middle ages, and want to force people to live in a
fundamentalist state, that is antediluvian.

Arizona should just change it’s name to New Afghanistan. Then people will understand
things the way they are, without any confusion.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 15, 2012 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

Dear Fellow TD Posters:

I recently received an eMail from TD containing the follow two disturbing bits of information:

“With the new system, instead of logging in to your Truthdig account, you’ll see the option to log in and post comments using Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL or Hotmail. If you already have an account with one of these services, you won’t need to create a new login; and if you don’t have one, you can sign up for free.”

You will not be able to use your current Truthdig account to post comments in the new system. We hoped to avoid this inconvenience, but could not find an alternative compatible with our site architecture. (We actually tried and failed to build a custom comments engine for this reason alone.) Once we get the new feature in place, you’ll need to use one of the aforementioned services to log in and comment. Remember you can create a pseudonym account if anonymity is important to you. We plan to preserve all comment archives, so you don’t need to worry about losing anything you previously wrote.”

When I first started using the Internet many years ago, I used Compuserve, a competitor to AOL. During that time, AOL was twice caught with their pants down selling subscribers’ private and personal information to advertisers without permission.  Both times AOL promised to clean up their act but have been caught again repeating this over the years.  The day AOL purchased Compuserve I cancelled my Compuserve account.

FaceBook has become notorious for violating subscribers’ privacy, promising to make it “better” yet somehow they always have leaks.  I would not be surprised if FB had an engine to locate where anonymous accounts come from and can then tag them to real names.  I learned the hard way a few years ago that even amateur website managers can tag an anonymous account to you. Do not be reassured that your anonymity can be preserved against the likes of FaceBook, Yahoo!, and AOL.  It cannot.

Therefore, I am leaving Truthdig until such time as they change this policy.  It has been fun!

I wish you all the best,

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By Dave24, April 15, 2012 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

We want small government.  Now open your uterus to our morality.

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By mrfreeze, April 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, but this whole thing is so utterly ridiculous that I can’t help but use one of the most profoundly perfect phrases in the English language:

You can’t fix stupid…......

America has become a country of incurable imbeciles.

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By weylguy, April 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Conception begins with the glint in the husband’s eye, assuming he and his wife were legally married in a church in the eyes of God, surrounded by one’s peers. Amen.

Wait ... it begins on the first date, assuming it leads to the holy state of matrimony in a church, etc. 

Wait ... better yet, it begins at one’s own birth, especially if the child decides to marry at some later date in a church and does not turn out to be homosexual.

Wait ...

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Not only a war against women, but a constant battle against reality, Geeze Arizona I thought Oklahoma was the poster state for Stupid!

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By thethirdman, April 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Freest Greatest Country in the World!!!

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By Lilith, April 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

So now they have are stating that pregnancy starts on the first day of the last period (most likely before the sperm enters the egg in most pregnancies I beleive), in order to calculate when the 20th week mark occurs to prevent abortions beyond that point new found 20th week. Why don’t the just consider women pregnant from the day the develop ovaries in the womb of their mother’s. That should catch all those pregnancies at their earliest points the Never-never-land of the GOP .... excuse me while I go throw-up .....

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