Center for Arizona Policy Celebrates Passage of Anti-Infanticide Bill in Arizona Senate

The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) released a statement Monday from President Cathi Herrod, who praised the work of State Senator Janae Shamp (R-Surprise) for sponsoring the “born alive” bill, which aims to protect all babies born alive in the state.

“The Senate’s passage of SB 1600 along party lines tells you everything you need to know about which lawmakers refuse to draw the line before infanticide. The bill ends the inhumane practice known as “slow code,” in which healthcare professionals withhold medical care to babies not expected to live long in order to hasten their death,” Herrod said. “I am grateful for Senator Shamp’s courage in sponsoring this important bill.”

Shamp’s bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1600, would provide clear guidelines for how medical experts treat babies who exit the womb alive. Regardless of if a child is born naturally or during an abortion procedure, if the child is alive, the healthcare professional must treat them as a legal person. At that time, professionals must use any appropriate and reasonable medical treatments to keep the child alive and healthy, ” regardless of whether the infant is likely to survive.”

Additionally, under the bill, the infant’s parents still have the right to deny medical treatments for the child as long as the treatment is unnecessary to save the life. If the treatment would only prolong the infant’s death, the parents can refuse it. Moreover, if any healthcare professional intentionally violates the processes outlined by this bill, they would be guilty of a class 6 felony.

When the bill appeared during a Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting, Nicole Cestaro testified in the bill’s favor. She shared that her daughter was born in 2022 with trisomy 18, an often fatal chromosomal condition. However, the infant passed away a week later, and Cestaro claimed medical experts slow-coded her daughter’s care because of her illness.

Cindy Dahlgren, communications director for CAP, told The Arizona Sun Times via the phone that SB 1600 would ensure that, no matter the situation, all infants are given the best chance at life, no matter their medical conditions or circumstances of birth.

While the bill did pass the Senate floor, it was not without some opposition. State Senator Raquel Terán (D-Phoenix), who is stepping down from her position as minority leader, argued the bill placed too many restrictions on medical experts and would impede their ability to make expert decisions.

Nonetheless, Shamp remained unfazed by any backlash and said it is her priority to protect all life no matter what.

“This is the most humane and commonsense bill. All life matters, and these innocent babies must be protected fully. As a nurse, I gave my promise to protect all life, doesn’t matter to me if individuals are at the start or end of their life,” Shamp said in a weekly update announcing the bill had passed the Senate.

Ultimately, the bill passed with 16 in favor and 13 against. It now falls on the State House to address the bill next. However, even if the bill passes the House, it still must receive approval from Gov. Katie Hobbs to become law, who is openly pro-abortion.

However, Dahlgren told The Sun Times that “there’s no reason Hobbs should not sign it [SB 1600]” because the bill is not centered around abortion but instead aims to ensure all infants born alive, no matter the situation, have a chance at life.

Moreover, another bill from Shamp, SB 1250, which seeks to ensure medical professionals can be exempt from vaccine mandate, also passed the Senate floor.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Janae Shamp” by Arizona State Legislature. Photo “Cathi Herrod” by Center for Arizona Policy. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Pima County Public Library.


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