Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed a bill on Thursday that prohibits abortions in the state after 20 weeks. The bill, passed earlier this week by the state legislature, essentially bans abortions after 18 weeks because gestational age of the fetus will be calculated based on the last menstrual period of the woman.

In a press release (PDF), Governor Brewer defended her decision, saying “this legislation is consistent with my strong track record of supporting common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population – the unborn.” Arizona Senator Linda Lopez responded to the law, saying “once again, (Brewer) and the Republicans in the Legislature have decided that they know better than women. They are again saying that women are incapable of making those decisions.”

The bill also requires the state to create a website with pictures of a fetus at multiple stages of development. Women will also be required to undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion. Currently, state law requires an ultrasound to occur one hour before an abortion.

Reuters 4/13/12; Arizona Governor Press Release 4/12/12; The Arizona Republic 4/12/12; The Daily Beast 4/12/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/11/12

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