by Steven Ertelt
February 13, 2006
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — The Arizona House on Monday approved legislation that would require abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that her unborn child will feel intense pain during the procedure. The measure also allows the woman to ask for anesthesia to be provided to the baby during the abortion.
The bill, which enjoys the support of pro-life groups hoping to reduce abortions further, had a 36 to 21 vote and now heads to the state Senate.
During the debate, Republican Rep Pamela Gorman said the state should help women get information from abortion centers that they may not otherwise receive. But, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema said the bill would further erode the so-called right to abortion.
The requirements apply to a woman who is considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy but not to women who may need an abortion in extremely rare cases to prevent their death or serious bodily injury.
Abortion practitioners who violate the requirements would be charged with professional misconduct and could face losing their medical licenses.
Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center says he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
Anand has said other medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."
An April 2004 Zogby poll shows that 77% of Americans back "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."
Only 16 percent disagreed with such a proposal, according to the poll, commissioned by the National Right to Life Committee.
Previously, state legislative panels endorsed two pro-life proposals that seek to reduce abortions.
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.
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.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your elected officials and encourage them to support these proposals. Find contact info at https://www.azleg.gov.