NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona

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The Basics

 Are you confused about abortion rights in Arizona?  Here are the basic restrictions on abortion access in the state, but be sure to read below for a more thorough discussion of abortion laws in Arizona.

  • Abortion is legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy.
  • Prior to obtaining an abortion, a woman must receive state-directed counseling and then wait 24 additional hours before the procedure may take place.  The counseling must include:
    • the name of the physician who will provide the abortion;
    • the nature of the proposed procedure;
    • the immediate and long-term medical risks of the procedure;
    • the alternatives to the procedure;
    • the probable gestational age of the fetus;
    • the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus; and
    • the medical risks of carrying the pregnancy to term.
  • A woman must obtain an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to obtaining an abortion.
  • If a woman is under the age of 18, she must obtain notarized written consent from a parent before obtaining an abortion.  The parental consent option can be waived with permission from a judge.  See Planned Parenthood of Arizona's website for step-by-step information on how to obtain judicial bypass, as well as the required forms:


Abortions are one of the most common medical procedures in America -- one in three American women have an abortion by the time they reach age 45. In 2001, almost half (49%) of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended and, of these, 42% resulted in abortions. Overall, of the 6.4 million pregnancies that occur annually in this country, 19% end in an induced abortion. Most (89%) abortions are performed in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy (known as the first trimester) and only 1% of abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later (known as late term abortions) [Kaiser Family Foundation: Fact Sheet on Abortion in the U.S: Utilization, Financing and Access, 6/2008].

Abortions are sought by women from a wide demographic spectrum. Fifty-seven percent of women who have abortions are in their 20s; 60% have one or more children; 86% are unmarried; 57% are economically disadvantaged; 88% live in a metropolitan area; and 78% report a religious affiliation. No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority of the women who have abortions. [Guttmacher Institute: State Facts about Abortion, Arizona, 2008]

The 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade guaranteed American women the right to choose abortion. However, a myriad of federal and state policies have a substantial impact on women's access to abortion services. Since that time, the anti-choice movement has worked furiously to chip away at it at the federal, state and local levels – with the ultimate goal of overturning the decision altogether. Anti-choice activists are working hard in state legislatures, the courts, and Congress to take away our rights.

Cost and access are among the barriers to abortion care. The cost of an abortion varies depending on location, facility, timing during pregnancy and type of procedure (medical or surgical). Arizona uses mostly state funds to cover the cost of "medically necessary” (by court order) abortions for low-income women. Minors must have parental consent. US laws ban federal funding of abortions for Federal employees and their dependents, Native Americans covered by the Indian Health Service, military personnel and their families and women with disabilities (who are covered by Medicare).

Abortion In Arizona

Access to an abortion provider is limited nationwide and particularly in Arizona. In 2005, 73% of Arizona counties had no abortion provider. Lawmakers in Arizona consistently seek opportunities to further restrict abortion access by limiting who can provide abortion services, implementing mandatory waiting periods, and mandating counseling be sought prior to an abortion. In 2009, the Arizona Legislature passed the most restrictive piece of anti-abortion legislation the state has seen in years. [Guttmacher Institute: State Facts about Abortion, Arizona, 2008]

Our Stance

We believe it is vital to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies through comprehensive prevention policies and expanded access to contraception. That said, NARAL Pro-Choice Arizona is committed to keeping abortion safe, legal, and accessible.


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