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Originally published Friday, April 13, 2018 at 05:59a.m.

Per the April 11 article titled “Arizona house votes to require providers to ask reasons for abortion,” several Democratic state representatives pointed out that 44 percent of live births in Arizona are to unmarried women (most are under 20), and that many of these teen pregnancies could be avoided through better access to birth control and comprehensive sex education, as opposed to Arizona’s focus on an “abstinence only” approach.

Rep. Athena Salman (D-Tempe) also called for state oversight of Arizona’s numerous “crisis pregnancy centers.” These heavily religious anti-abortion groups often use deceptive scare tactics to frighten and coerce girls and women into foregoing their legal right to terminate their pregnancies, which may even extend to vilifying birth control.

Rep. Salman drew attention to the fact that many of these typically unlicensed “clinics” have “no medical personnel present, yet they are giving medical advice to women about their pregnancies.”

She made a good case that having state oversight of these “storefront operations” is necessary to protect women’s health during pregnancy. Republican lawmakers dismissed these very legitimate concerns out-of-hand.

No comprehensive women’s clinic exists in Kingman. However, it does have a local crisis pregnancy center (Advice and Aid), which targets girls as young as 14.

To offset an unwillingness by Republican politicians to protect the health and rights of women, it’s imperative that individual communities monitor these religious anti-abortion groups for harmful lies about the effects of legal abortion (which is actually safer than a tonsillectomy) and birth control.

For more information on this subject please Google a Psychology Today article titled “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Traumatize Women Through Deception,” and an American Medical Association Journal of Ethics article titled “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical.”

Aleeta Stamn

Kingman