Arizona Committees Back Abortion Bills on Parental Consent, Insurance

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Committees Back Abortion Bills on Parental Consent, Insurance Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 10, 2006

Phoenix, AZ ( — State legislative panels endorsed two pro-life proposals that seek to reduce abortions in Arizona. One measure strengthens the law that requires a teenager to get her parents permission before she can have an abortion. It requires the consent forms to be notarized.

The other bill ensures taxpayer funds are not used to pay for abortions through government insurance plans. It would cover health insurance plans for state, local and county government workers.

Backers of the parental consent proposal say it’s necessary to make sure the forms are not falsified, but abortion advocates oppose the requirement.

The House Judiciary Committee approved that bill on a 6-2 vote and it now heads to the full House for consideration.

Republican Rep. Steve Yarbrough said he doubted the proposal would be a financial burden, that pro-abortion groups claimed it would be, according to an Associated Press report.

Meanwhile the Senate Government Committee signed off on the health insurance bill by a 4-2 margin.

Republican Sen. Karen Johnson is the sponsor of that measure and said it follows through on the legislature’s intent to make sure Arizona government does not pay for abortions, unless necessary to prevent the death of the mother.

Democratic Sen. Bill Brotherton of Phoenix opposed the bill because state employees put some of their own money into the state insurance plans.

But Cathi Herrod, interim president of the Center for Arizona Policy, told AP that the government paying for abortions through health insurance plans violates previous law prohibiting direct taxpayer funding of abortions.

"At some level taxpayer dollars are being used — whether it’s administrative costs, whether it’s in the publication of a pamphlet that lists the insurance benefit," she said.

AP reported that a representative of pro-abortion Gov. Janet Napolitano refused to comment on the pro-life legislation. She vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have allowed women to receive information about abortion’s risks and alternatives that abortion businesses sometimes withhold from women considering abortions.

Napolitano has also vetoed a measure that would have protected pro-life pharmacists from being forced to dispense drugs that could cause abortions.

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