Fetal personhood bill in AZ House Judiciary Committee 2/1/23

Another sneaky fetal personhood bill is being heard in House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, 2/1.

HB2502 allows courts to order the payment of child support dating back to when a pregnancy is first diagnosed. Just like last week’s HB2501, it’s another “feel good” bill designed to seed legal precedents that a fetus is a person.

Bills like HB2502 are not in the interests of pregnant people. They’re only about legitimizing embryos as people and stripping pregnant people of basic rights.

When an embryo is considered a “baby,” this normalizes the idea that a pregnant person is subservient to the “rights” of a fetus. This opens the door for catastrophic outcomes including imprisonment and interpersonal violence.

The bill is also wildly unspecific. It says courts shall order child support payments for fetuses, but doesn’t specify in what cases. This gives judges carte blanche to bring their personal biases into the equation, opening the door for discrimination based on class, race, and more.

This bill was introduced by Rep. Matt Gress (R-4)—a religious conservative who shares his seat with a supporter of reproductive freedom. Gress may be tailoring these bills to appeal to uninformed moderates in his district.

What you can do:

  1. If you are a Request to Speak user, sign in against this bill and/or ask to testify in committee against it before House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 1st 9:00 AM.
  2. If you live in LD4, email bill sponsor Rep. Matt Gress (R) at mgress@azleg.gov and let him know people in his district aren’t falling for fetal personhood bills.

If you need help with Request to Speak or need to sign up, please see resources by our friends at Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (and consider throwing them a donation for all the hard work they do).