by Steven Ertelt
April 9, 2008
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — After Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a ban on partial-birth abortions on Friday, an Arizona House committee has approved a new one with revisions it hopes will satisfy the governor’s concerns. The House Natural Resources and Public Safety Committee approved SB 1048 6-3.
Pro-life groups say the measure gives them another chance to ban partial-birth abortions.
The bill addresses the two concerns the Governor identified in her veto letter about the state measure’s conformity to federal law.
Napolitano said she wanted the state version to have a two year cap on prison time for abortion practitioners who use the gruesome abortion method.
She also wanted abortion practitioners to be able to get an opinion from the state medical board stating the abortion method is needed to save the life of the mother in such rare cases — though doctors have testified the three-day-long abortion procedure would never be necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.
Senator Linda Gray, the bill sponsor, told members of the committee she hopes the legislature will approve the bill and get it to the governor and that Napolitano will honor her commitment to address the legislation in a bipartisan manner.
Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, says the governor’s objections to the partial-birth abortion should be satisfied and she should sign the bill into law.
"The original bill enjoyed significant bipartisan support in the legislature, and the concerns that the Governor stated in her veto letter are addressed by this new bill," Herrod told LifeNews.com.
Ron Johnson of the Arizona Catholic Conference also told LifeNews.com he is pleased the measure is moving forward.
"The newly amended SB 1048 makes the aforementioned changes in an attempt to eliminate any of the governor’s stated objections," Johnson said. "It is hoped that the new bill will make its way through the legislature and get to the governor in about two weeks."
Arizona pro-life advocates are hoping to get state officials to help with enforcement with the passage of a state ban.
With the vetoing of the ban and another bill to strengthen parental consent requirements 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.
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."
ACTION: Contact Governor Napolitano with your complaints about the vetoes. View this page for contact information.