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4/10/2012 9:57:00 PM
Arizona House OKs ban on abortions after 20 weeks
Associated Press

PHOENIX - The Arizona House on Tuesday approved the state's latest anti-abortion legislation, a sweeping bill that generally bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and institutes new disclosure mandates that require the state maintain a website with images of fetuses at various stages of development for women to view.

The Senate approved the bill previously, so the House's 37-22 Tuesday sends the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who has signed previous anti-abortion legislation.

Several Republicans joined nearly all Democrats in opposing the Republican-sponsored bill, while one Democrat joined most Republicans in supporting it as more than a third of the 60 representatives rose to explain their votes.

The 20-week abortion ban, which does not apply in medical emergencies, would affect a tiny percentage of abortions performed in Arizona. The state would join Nebraska and a handful of other states that have similar bans.

Critics argued that doctors cannot determine to a precise week how far along the pregnancy has progressed and that setting an "arbitrary" deadline would likely prevent physicians from timely diagnosing anomalies in the fetus.

The women involved "are not abortion-minded patients ... but something is terribly wrong," said Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, a Phoenix Republican who voted against the bill. "This bill goes too far," she added later.

Supporters disputed that, saying the risks to women's health after 20 weeks are much greater. They also claimed that after that point in development, a fetus can feel pain.

"To sit here and say that it is OK to murder these babies after 20 weeks is unconscionable," said Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park.

Arizona now allows abortions up to when a fetus can survive outside of the womb. That's generally considered to be around 23 to 24 weeks.

Arizona already has laws about "informed consent" requirements, a prohibition on a type of late-term abortions and regulations of abortion clinics.

The 2012 legislation would require the state health department maintain an extensive website that provides information about alternatives to abortion, medical risks and descriptions and images of fetuses at various stages of development.

The proposal increases the current requirement that an ultrasound be performed before an abortion from one hour to 24 hours before. It also requires abortion clinics to post signs providing notice that it's illegal for anyone to coerce a woman to have an abortion.

In wording similar to that in the laws of other states with 20-week bans, the Arizona legislation specifies that the state's ban would start from a point "as determined with reasonable probability by the attending physician."

However, the American Civil Liberties Union points to other wording in Arizona law that the organization contends would make the Arizona proposal more restrictive by basing the calculation on the first day of the woman's last menstrual cycle.

If doctors must use the calculation based on a menstrual cycle, that could effectively ban abortions that are only 18 weeks along, said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

That cutoff could occur before women undergo some prenatal exams that could reveal information about the health of the woman and fetus, which makes it "the most extreme abortion bill in the country," Dalven said recently.

That's not so, said Deborah Sheasby, an attorney with the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative advocacy group that supports the legislation.

Sheasby said doctors can take other factors into consideration, such as an ultrasound, when calculating the progression of the pregnancy.

No matter what calculation is used, opponents say doctors cannot determine down to a precise day or hour how far along a pregnancy has progressed and the "arbitrary deadline" could prevent doctors from diagnosing anomalies in the fetus or give women enough time to determine how they want to proceed.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Smarter than a 5th grader

Do I have to seriously consider the opinions of people who write, and reason, like drunk 12-year-olds?

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Whoever Wrote to Able Disable

It is funny how you chime in on the one sentence of mine. The fact is, are we or are we not funding hundreds of thousands of abortions each year? You are right, we are paying for over 50% of births, and not just here in Arizona either. But should we continue to allow women to have abortions as a means of contraception instead of prophylactics or birth control pills? You obviously would consider that instead of the latter, since you zoned in on that once sentence and commented the way you did. The thing is, if abortion is used as birth control, then one day when she does decide to have a child, she may not be able to. That is one of the consequences for her decision.

Did you happen to read the part where I mentioned Adoption? Again, you zoned in on one sentence in the whole letter. That is what I call narrow minded, or tunnel vision.
Fact is, whatever the "choice" is, we should not be paying for it. I am all for procreation, but why should I fund it? And should a woman feel they want to terminate their pregnancy then so be it, that is up to her. She will have to live with her decision, both here and after. I will not be sitting in judgment of anyone. However, I want the option, to opt out of my taxes going to support abortion clinics. If that is where you want your tax dollars going to then by all means have at it. Give them more. Better yet...give them my share too.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: M P

@Able Disable. It is against the law(Hyde Ammendment) for the federal government to pay for abortions, so you aren't funding it. I agree that adoptions should be less costly and with approx 11,000 kids in need of foster care in Arizona, maybe each one of you calling to a halt to abortions could take in just one, it would help out. If you folks that are against abortion would use the same amount of effort to reduce the cost of adoption, I can guarantee you would be successful.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Reed Winfrey

I have an opinion but in an attempt to remain neutral for the sake of comment here,,,,,,,,,,,,

Please consider this, people want the government, aka taxpayers, to pay for birth control pills, abortions, billions in child support, health care for their children, yet have no say in the matter.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Anti Rachel Pro Woman's Choice

Rachel: Your negative comments towards women are VERY UN-CHRISTIAN like. I can't help but wonder how many skeltons you have in your closet! MY BODY, MY BELIEFS, MY CHOICE GIRLFRIEND! And yes, we will remember in November.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: This and that!!

I for one am so very happy that murdering a "viable life outside the womb" is not LEGAL!! It is MURDER.!! Im with Rachel and all who know this is a crime(against yourself and the child) to kill an unborn child. It takes courage to stand against the ignorant and Rachel Im with ya.I certainly expect all the anti "christian" folks to climb out of the woodwork.Your type of people are running scared against who you are intended to be and naturally have a "hater" mentality. This world is turning into a free for all.....Do what feels good and the heck with all that is RIGHT . I know women that have had abortions.Trust me,they have suffered with their conscience for years because they took the easy way out .Im speaking of the majority of abortions that are done because the woman had an "oops" moment. ...Im not speaking of instances when an unborn child threatens the life of the pregnant mother.There are circumstances when terminating a pregnancy is clearly the only choice. @Ryan Jenson... insert foot into mouth! Sow is to spread seed about the land! Before you correct someone look it up ...! Your "two cents" ended up as "no sense".

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Oklahoma Kid

You have to love a law that spells out exactly what can not take place in one sentence, than in the next says that under certain circumstances the law can be circumvented.
Kinda like giving a baby girl a boys name, in the grand design it doesn't really matter, but can you not wonder if it may have had a detrimental effect on the boy as he grew up?

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Able Disable wrote

"...I believe that as long as there is going to Abortion, then limit the amount of times a woman/young woman can have the abortion performed."

And then what? What do you do with the results of further pregnancies conceived in irresponsibility, then gestated in a womb fed by indifference?

Force them to be born and raised by dear old "Mom"?

Have the state raise them?

And who is to pay for all this?

Arizona already pays all birthing costs for more than 50% of the live births beach year, and has for several years.

Do you think the state should pick up more of the load?

Why, or why not?

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

@Susan ... West, I wondered where you were at?? It is not I who hates women but instead YOU. It is you who would have a woman's soul destroyed by abortion. Now to your question, I would not aborted Ms. Sanger who has been responsible for far more deaths than Hitler. It is only through the evil of other's that we learn.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: dutch holland

I am a woman. and I am against murder (i.e. abortion) of babies. abortion has gone from the early days of the 1st trimester to late term abortion to now killing them after the baby is born.
I cannot understand why a woman would want to kill her child - at any time. a baby's heart begins to beat with the first 2 wks. if that isnt life, well..
It amazes me that you can go to prison for killing a dear out of season yet can get away with murder of an innocent child.
and to paul p.................. I am also a Christian and yes I know the Lord will return one day, (rapture), but I as well as many do not want to see any one 'burn in hell'. I have many family members and dear friends who (to a christian) are un-saved. I pray for everyone to be saved. I dont want anyone to be lost.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Able Disable

I say this.....I believe that as long as there is going to Abortion, then limit the amount of times a woman/young woman can have the abortion performed. So many use this as a form of birth control. Limiting the gestation period as to when an Abortion can be performed should be common sense by the doctors and mother, and not up to lawmakers to make it Law. The question is,... When is it okay to perform abortions? This and the fact that woman feel it is a choice will always be on the table of controversy.

God states in his commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," but he also says, "judge not lest ye be judged." It is up to the woman or doctor for that matter who chooses to terminate any pregnancy to face that decision. They will have to live with what they do, and will have to answer for it when the time comes.
A death is a death, and killing is killing, regardless if it's in the form of aborting a fetus, or killing of another human being at any age.
The question I have regarding abortion is, if it is the choice of the mother, or father for that matter, then why should I as a tax payer pay for it? Why can't it be the responsibility of the parent(s) who is choosing to end said life?
Another question I have is, why do they make it so easy to have an Abortion, yet Adoption in this country is nearly impossible without funds, and what not?
Thing is, this issue is not going away and hasn't since the inception of Roe vs Wade. What we need to do is tell our Legislature that we as tax payers will no longer fund Abortion, and for those who perform them, or seek them need to find other means to fund them. We may just see a decline.

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: susan west

To Rachel, my fav woman hater......you have a magic time machine and can now go back to when Hitler's mom was 5 weeks pregnant with him......you can magically have him aborted.....would you?

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

@Ryan Jensen, I am SO very SORRY YOU are illiterate BUT...http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sow


Posted: Friday, April 13, 2012
Article comment by: Sheesh Deluxe

Another government control, brought to you by the party of small government.

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: paul p

Nobody is pro-death (except maybe those who awaiting the rapture and want with all their heart to have all the non-believers burn in hell (so they can say I told you so like a first grader)

So you pro state-control of our lives crowd should chill out a little. Think about what you are asking for - it is anti freedom, anti-responsibility. It is anti-America. Go now - A theocracy awaits you elsewhere...

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

@ Rachel A.H.

The word is “sew,” dear.
A “sow” is a (ahem) female pig.

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: Andy Anderson

Crazy-town? To prevent an abortion after conception of 5 months ago? What would you pro-lifers want next, to have the "choice" to abort the baby 2 days before delivery? Heck, why not just kill the kid 3 years after birth!

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: TRUTH PLEASE

The Gov has signed the bill!! Finally a politician who is not afraid of you Pro-Deather's.

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Article comment by: honky brujo

All these stupid Tea Pot laws can easily be overturned, repealed once we get the Republicans out of office. Don't sweat the small stuff, and don't vote Republican.

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: M P

Women will remember in November

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

"Damn girl, if your going to speak for your gender at least try and come across as a woman who has respect for her sisters" Sorry but I have NO respect for any woman who murder's her child. And yes it is promoting a pro-death mentality!! For all you fools who believe this is just about a women's "choice" look up the phrase After birth abortion's. Coming to a town near you very soon if we are not very careful. You fooled us back in the early 70s with all this choice crap, now we will not be fooled again. We must stand up for the souls of woman who will be damaged by abortion, and the lives of all the children who will be murdered in the name of choice.

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Is the truth starting to rear it's head?

I don't see why the pro-abortion folks should have a problem with this. Every time the subject comes up they swear people only get abortions when absolutely required, and they always get them in the first trimester. Is that suddenly not true now?

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Is it really 2012

Listened to a RadioLab podcast today, the story titled "GUTS". Never knew until today that, well hell, after hearing the story it became clear that a politician has as much of a chance to explaining life as a theologian.
And Rachel I know I'm wasting my time but, NO ONE IS PROMOTING ABORTION, the issue is that as a last resort the option should not be denied.
Damn girl, if your going to speak for your gender at least try and come across as a woman who has respect for her sisters.

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Rachel A.H

Thank God, assault on women LOL. Assault on the un- born more like. It must be so horrible to hate women so much that you would destroy their soul by promoting abortion. All you Pro-Deather's will reap what you sow.

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: get real...

Folks, this is an assault on women...plain and simple. Republicans' words mean nothing to me when their actions do just the opposite. This idiotic bill says that conception begins after a woman's last period...and not when a sperm and an egg do their magical dance. In another bill, the republican dominated legislature is providing immunity for doctors who withhold health information that could potentially lead a woman to have an abortion...science be damned. Essentially, women are being forced into perpetual pregnancy.

These bills are reckless and immoral and I hope women are fired up and pissed off. It's time to grab these fools by the gonads and apply some pressure of our own.

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