by Steven Ertelt
April 4, 2008
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — Governor Janet Napolitano gave pro-life advocates in Arizona a double whammy on Friday as she vetoed both a partial-birth abortion ban as well as a bill to strengthen parental consent requirements. The bills are added to a laundry list of pro-life measures the governor has vetoed that could have reduced abortions there.
In vetoing the partial-birth abortion ban, Napolitano said she didn’t like that the measure didn’t cap the civil fines abortion practitioners could face for running afoul of the law.
She also noted federal law prohibits partial-birth abortions, but local pro-life advocates were hoping to get state officials to help with enforcement with the passage of a state ban.
The next question is whether or not Arizona legislators will try to overturn the vetoes.
Cathi Herrod, president of The Center for Arizona Policy, told LifeNews.com she hopes that happens and added that Napolitano was wrong to reject the bills.
“Governor Napolitano is showing her radical pro-abortion position by refusing to prohibit an extreme procedure that borders on infanticide," Herrod told LifeNews.com. “Laws to prohibit partial-birth abortions enjoy broad bipartisan support at both the state and federal levels.”
Governor Napolitano has now vetoed every piece of abortion legislation that has come across her desk — seven pro-life measures in total.
“The Governor is establishing a track record of being one of the most pro-abortion governors this country has ever seen,” said Herrod.
“Today’s vetoes are another instance where the heavy influence of Planned Parenthood on the Governor’s decisions prevent the state from enforcing even the most reasonable of abortion regulations," she added.
Arizona initially approved a partial-birth abortion ban in 1997, but a federal judge declared it unconstitutional. The attorney general filed an appeal but Napolitano dropped the case when she took over as the state’s top attorney.
President Bush signed the national partial-birth abortion ban into law in 2003 and abortion advocates took it to court in three separate lawsuits. Federal courts in each case relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 and declared the ban unconstitutional.
Much of the debate revolved around whether a partial-birth abortion is ever medically necessary.
Dr. Anthony Levatino, a Las Cruces, New Mexico OBGYN who formerly did abortions in New York, says a partial-birth abortion is a three-day-long process and would never be a medical procedure a doctor would need to use to protect a woman’s health.
"The way you end a pregnancy to save a woman’s life is to deliver the (baby)," Levatino said. "If you wait three days to do a partial birth abortion, she’s going to end up in the morgue."
Levatino said the health exception abortion advocates want is a "legal tactic" that has no basis in medical fact.
ACTION: Contact Governor Napolitano with your complaints about the vetoes. View this page for contact information.