When Does Pregnancy Start? New Arizona Law Says It’s Before Conception

Shutterstock / The Bump
Shutterstock / The Bump

Here at The Bump, we count pregnancy weeks the way OB’s usually do, starting with the first day of her last period — usually about two weeks before conception — should the government count it that way too?

Last week Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a new law that deems a woman pregnant two weeks prior to conception. The law, titled Women’s Health and Safety Act, went into effect on Thursday.

Under the new law, if a woman gets an abortion it must be performed before a fetus can “reasonably survive outside the womb” which, on average, is around 22 to 24 weeks. The new law also requires women to have an ultrasound 24 hours prior to the procedure. With these changes, women would no longer be able to receive an abortion to protect their health if an issue arose after the 24 week mark.

While some praise Brewer for taking a stance, women’s rights advocates are far from pleased. In an interview with The Examiner, Center of Reproductive Rights state advocacy counsel Jordan Goldberg implied that this new law is completely backwards.

“The law disregards women’s health in a way I’ve never seen before,” Goldberg said. “The women of Arizona can’t access medical treatments that other women can.”

Do you support Arizona’s new law? Do think this could harm a woman’s health?

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