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Arizona lawmaker reveals plan to get abortion for nonviable fetus

An Arizona state lawmaker revealed she is pregnant with a nonviable fetus and said she plans to get an abortion, taking the floor in the state Senate to detail her experience seeking care in the state.

"Right now the safest and most appropriate treatment for me -- and the treatment that I choose -- is abortion. But the laws that this legislature has passed has interfered with my ability to do that," state Sen. Eva Burch, a Democrat, said on the Senate floor Monday.

Burch, already a mother of two boys, said she found out she was pregnant a few weeks ago "against all odds." The lawmaker said she's had a "rough journey with fertility," having her first miscarriage 13 years ago and has been pregnant many times since then.

MORE: In post-Roe America, women detail agony of being forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term

However, after "numerous" ultrasounds and blood draws, it was determined that her pregnancy was nonviable. She then chose to end the pregnancy.

In order to access care in the state, Burch said she had an "invasive transvaginal ultrasound" that she didn't need.

"I am safe and loved and protected in my marriage but I cannot imagine how inappropriate that would be for a victim of sexual assault, or for someone who has an abusive or coercive relationship with their partner -- another unwanted vaginal penetration, but this time by the state, by the people who are commissioned to protect us," Burch said.

PHOTO: Demonstrators during a Women's March rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 20, 2024. (Caitlin O'Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Demonstrators during a Women's March rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 20, 2024. (Caitlin O'Hara/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Abortion is prohibited after 15 weeks in Arizona, but other restrictions in place limit patients' access to care.

To access abortion care in the state, patients are required to make two appointments, first for an in-person counseling session and then they must wait at least 24 hours before they can have the second appointment for the abortion.

Patients are also required to get ultrasounds, even if not medically necessary, and state Medicaid coverage is prohibited, with very limited exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Burch said the counseling she received was "a list of absolute disinformation" and she was told multiple things that do not apply to her situation, all due to state laws.

'Not critical enough'

But her story did not end there. Burch also revealed to her colleagues that this will not be her first abortion.

Two years ago, while she was campaigning for her state Senate seat, Burch said she also became pregnant with a nonviable fetus.

"It was a pregnancy that we had been trying for and we were heartbroken over it," Burch said on the state Senate floor.

PHOTO: A protestor holds a sign reading 'My Body My Choice' at a Women's March rally where Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs spoke outside the State Capitol on October 8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A protestor holds a sign reading 'My Body My Choice' at a Women's March rally where Arizona Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs spoke outside the State Capitol on October 8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The night before her previously scheduled abortion she began to miscarry. But even though there's an exception in the state law if the mother's life is at risk, she was denied a procedure in a hospital because she was deemed "not critical enough," Burch said.

"I had been bleeding and passing huge clots for hours but I wasn't bleeding out. And I was still pregnant, so I was offered medication to make me start bleeding again and told that I could have a procedure when I had bled enough," Burch said.

"A waiting period is often totally inappropriate and potentially dangerous," she added.

MORE: Texas abortion law means woman has to continue pregnancy despite fatal anomaly

Burch said she went to the abortion clinic the next day and was able to get the care that she needed. Two weeks later, abortion clinics shut down after Roe v. Wade was overturned, according to Burch.

Now, she said she needs an abortion once again. Burch said she is sharing her story to reveal how legislative decisions impact the lives of "real people."

PHOTO: Eva Burch makes an address on the Arizona Senate floor, March 18, 2024. (ACTV)
PHOTO: Eva Burch makes an address on the Arizona Senate floor, March 18, 2024. (ACTV)

Burch criticized laws that restrict access to abortion and called on the legislature to pass laws that enable all Arizona residents to make the decision that is right for them.

"This legislature has failed the people of Arizona in the laws that restrict and dictate abortion and in the resources that it cuts and strangles and denies at every opportunity," Burch said.

"I truly hope that Arizonans have the opportunity to weigh in on abortion on the ballot in November," Burch said.

Arizona lawmaker reveals plan to get abortion for nonviable fetus originally appeared on abcnews.go.com