by Steven Ertelt
April 5, 2006
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — The Arizona state Senate has approved legislation requiring abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that it can cause intense pain for the unborn child. Women whose pregnancies are further along than 20 weeks after conception would receive the information.
The Senate signed off on the measure, HB 2554, on a 17-13 vote Tuesday.
Sixteen of the Republicans in the chamber voted in favor of the bill, along with Democrat Linda Aguirre. Republicans Toni Hellon of Tucson and Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale and 11 Democrats voted against it.
The House previously approved the bill on a 36-21 vote and it now heads to pro-abortion Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has previously vetoed other pro-life bills.
Abortion advocates oppose the measure saying it intimidates women, while backers say it helps women learn more information about abortion they are otherwise denied.
The measure would not apply in cases when an abortion is needed to prevent the death of the mother. It also allows the woman to ask for anesthesia to be provided to the baby during the abortion.
An abortion practitioner who fails to inform a woman about the fetal pain information would be guilty of unprofessional conduct and could have his medical license suspended or revoked.
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.
The governor 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.