Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Telling Women of Fetal Pain During Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Telling Women of Fetal Pain During Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12, 2006

Phoenix, AZ ( — Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would allow women to know that an unborn baby will feel intense pain during an abortion procedure. The veto came despite researching showing that unborn children have the capacity to feel pain at least after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In a statement about the veto, Napolitano said the bill "represents an unwarranted intrusion by politicians into the doctor-patient relationship."

"The Legislature should not attempt to substitute its judgment for that of trained physicians with respect to professional advice given to patients," she claimed.

The Senate signed off on the measure, HB 2554, on a 17-13 vote last week and the House previously approved the bill 36-21.

There is no word yet on whether pro-life lawmakers will attempt to override her veto.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, the state Senate approved and returned to the House a measure requiring notarized written parental consent before a minor teenager can have an abortion. The House will now vote on changes the Senate made to the bill, but it is expected to sign off on the measure.

The fetal pain bill, opposed by abortion advocates and supported by pro-life groups, 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.

Napolitano, a Democrat, has vetoed pro-life bills before.

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.

Related web sites:
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano –
Arizona Right to Life –