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AZ Gov. Ducey signs three bills protecting women, children

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2022

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Advocacy Strategy Emilie Kao regarding Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s signing Wednesday of SB 1165, a bill that protects opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring they are not forced to compete against men playing on women’s sports teams, and SB 1138, a bill that protects Arizona’s children by ensuring they do not undergo harmful, experimental “gender reassignment” surgeries:

“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. When the law ignores biological differences, women and girls bear the brunt of the harm. Arizona now joins a strong coalition of states that recognize that and have acted to preserve fair competition for all females, whether in grade school or college. SB 1165 protects athletic opportunities for women and girls and gives them vital legal recourse against unfair policies that arise. In light of the recent failure of some governors in other states to support meaningful protections for female athletes, we are especially grateful to Gov. Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for enacting this vital legislation. Additionally, we commend the governor for signing SB 1138 and protecting the ability of Arizona’s children to have a natural childhood, free from the pressure to undergo surgical procedures that leave them permanently sterile and physically marred for life. The governor and Arizona lawmakers took a vital stand for Arizona’s children and female athletes by enacting these two important bills.”

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Burke regarding Gov. Ducey’s signing Wednesday of SB 1164, a bill that protects the health of pregnant mothers, the dignity of unborn children, and the integrity of the medical profession by limiting abortions after 15 weeks in gestational age:

“Every human life is valuable and worthy of protection. Arizona has taken a commonsense step toward protecting unborn children and their mothers from the harms of late-term abortion. This bill advances Arizona’s important interest in protecting the lives of unborn children who have a beating heart and can move, taste, see, and feel pain. The bill also promotes women’s physical and emotional health and well-being by recognizing that women deserve real healthcare, not dangerous procedures that are unnecessary and devastating. We commend Gov. Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for taking a stand for true women’s healthcare and the protection of innocent life by enacting this legislation.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao serves as senior counsel and vice president of advocacy strategy for Alliance Defending Freedom. Before joining ADF, Kao served as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She also served as senior legal counsel at an international human rights law firm, East Asia team leader in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Human Rights, and director of international advocacy at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She was an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and is co-editor of the “First Principles on International Human Rights” essay series. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. Kao earned her A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the state bars of California and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.

ABOUT Denise Burke

Denise Burke serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Public Policy. In this role, her efforts are directed toward protecting life from conception to natural death and defending the conscience rights of health care professionals. Prior to joining ADF, Burke served as vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life. She began her career with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Air Force, both on active duty and in the reserve. Rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, she served as an instructor at the USAF JAG School and on the editorial board of the Air Force Law Review. In response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Burke volunteered to serve again on active duty. In recognition of her service, the Air Force awarded her the Meritorious Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. A member of the state bar of Texas, Burke is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and multiple federal district and appellate courts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Maryland, followed by her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University.