OPINION: Republicans lawmakers want to ‘Alabama’ our Arizona

arizona senate

By Eva Burch

March 1, 2024

There’s a chilling familiarity to this story coming out of Alabama.

I remember all too well when, in June of 2022, abortion clinics closed down all across the state of Arizona. It was two weeks after my own procedure, following a failed pregnancy that my husband and I desperately wanted.

I remember the pit in my stomach when I saw the blood. Something was wrong. The ultrasound confirmed that our pregnancy was not viable, and I knew terminating the pregnancy was the right choice for me. It could be days, weeks, or even months before I miscarried, and this was not a risk I was willing to take. My family had enough healing to be getting on with.

Government intervention in family planning

I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for others in my situation who were no longer able to access the care that they needed after Roe v Wade was overturned. The panic and the loss of security they must feel. I imagine this is the same for families in Alabama. The dread of uncertainty. The realization that your choices have been taken away from you by strangers.

The decision of the Alabama Supreme Court to define embryos as “extrauterine children” is not only factually inaccurate, but also irresponsible and outrageous. A frozen embryo is not a child. What I think we have to keep in mind here is that while this trend is disturbing, it should come as no surprise at all to anyone.

This is right on brand with the Republican message: decision-making about sexual health, conception, and family planning, in general, belongs to the state. Regardless of their own beliefs, dreams, or limitations, these policies demand that individuals, couples, and families have to conform to the ideological practices of imposing politicians.

It will never be enough for these lawmakers. Let me say it again: It will NEVER be enough. They will continue to push archaic and draconian policies for as long as they serve.

It’s about control

Even now, as we see Republican lawmakers in Alabama scrambling to impart legislation that will protect embryos designed for in vitro fertilization from being subject to civil or criminal penalties, it reveals the inconsistency in their supposed values. Either an embryo is a human child, or it is not.

If it is subject to the variance in political consequences based on the court of public opinion, then these lawmakers don’t really believe what they say they do. This has been, and continues to be, about control. About throwing red meat at base voters to retain power.

We have a stark reality to face in Arizona. The puppet masters holding the strings that control the Arizona legislature are the worst sort of extremists in the state. They desire an authoritarian theocracy, and they don’t even try to hide it. But the policies and the vitriolic dialogue coming out of the Republican Party in the Arizona Senate bear no resemblance at all to the Jesus of the New Testament that I read about in my youth.

There is fear, hatred, selfishness, judgement, and pride in their words and in their bills. There is no sense of love, charity, forgiveness, grace, kindness, compassion, healing, or even hope. We must commit to electing leaders who will respect the autonomy, beliefs, and decision-making of the people they represent.


  • Eva Burch

    Eva Burch is a Democratic Arizona State Senator representing the state's 9th Legislative District, comprising parts of Mesa and Tempe. Burch has also worked as a nurse practitioner and is a founding member of the Women's March Phoenix.


AZ Tucson Food Voting image

Local News

Related Stories
Share This