24-Hour Abortion Delay Bill Vetoed

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D) vetoed a bill last week that would have required women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours before obtaining the procedure after receiving information about abortion alternatives. Had the legislation become law, physicians would have also had to provide the probable age of the fetus, the medical risks of having an abortion, and the nature of the procedure, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

According to Napolitano, women already receive sufficient medical information before having an abortion, the Arizona Republic reports. She added that the bill also violated women’s privacy. “Existing Arizona law already requires that a physician obtain informed consent before performing any surgical procedure,” Napolitano wrote in her veto message. “[This Bill] represents undue government intrusion into the relationship between a woman and her doctor, her family, her religious counselor, or whomever else she wishes to consult in making this most difficult of personal and medical decisions.”

Joseph Feldman, who oversees abortion procedures and policies at 17 Planned Parenthood clinics in Arizona, supported the veto. “The patients at Planned Parenthood get accurate information to make good, responsible decisions… Informed consent has been a standard of medical practice since 1987,” reports kaisernetwork.org.

Republican lawmakers acknowledge the difficulty of overriding the veto without majority support in the Arizona House or Senate, but have promised to re-introduce the bill yearly.

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The Arizona Republic 3/5/04; Arizona Daily Star 3/5/04; kaisernetwork.org 3/5/04

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