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Arizona House Committee Approves Abortion Procedure Ban

The Arizona House Committee on Natural Resources and Public Safety voted 6-3 last week to approve a ban on the so-called “partial-birth abortion” procedure. The measure, SB 1048, is similar to the ban Governor Janet Napolitano vetoed earlier this month. Napolitano stated that the bill she vetoed included a harsher criminal penalty than the federal version of the ban and lacked a provision allowing physicians to seek a state government hearing on whether the procedure was necessary to save a woman’s life, according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

“Rather than introducing more criminal penalties into the relationship between a woman and her physician, let us focus our collective efforts to remedy the root issue of unwanted pregnancies by addressing such important topics as family planning and the prevention of sexual violence against women,” she wrote in a letter (see PDF) to the Arizona Speaker of the House following the veto.

This new version of the ban includes provisions for a medical-review for physicians on the necessity of the procedure to save a woman’s life, and a two-year maximum prison sentence, according to Capitol Media Services.

However, the measure “still places some unnecessary restrictions on women who are, sadly, facing a difficult choice at a later time in pregnancy, often in circumstances beyond their own control or their own choosing,” said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, according to the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

Sources:

Daily Women's Health Policy Report 4/14/08; Capitol Media Service 4/10/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/28/08; Governor Napolitano Letter to Speaker 4/4/08