Arizona State Senate Approves Revised Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona State Senate Approves Revised Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 16
, 2008

Phoenix, AZ ( — On Monday, the Arizona Senate approved a revised partial-birth abortion ban that takes into consideration the problems pro-abortion Gov. Janet Napolitano had with an earlier version she vetoed. The bill needs a final approval from the Arizona House before it goes to the governor.

The House backed SB 1048 on a 31-24 vote in April and the Senate approved the measure, with changes, on an 18-6 vote today with six members absent.

Cathi Herrod, the president of the pro-life Center for Arizona Policy told the bipartisan vote underscores how important banning the gruesome abortion procedure is for legislatures.

"The Senate vote demonstrates the significant bi-partisan support for banning the brutal and horrific practice of partial-birth abortion in our state," Herrod said.

"SB 1048 addresses the two concerns the Governor brought up when she vetoed the previous partial-birth abortion bill in April," Herrod added.

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 was 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.

Ron Johnson of the Arizona Catholic Conference also told previously 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.

Anyone who does a partial-birth abortion can be convicted by the federal ban the Supreme Court upheld last year, but state and local prosecutors would be better able to go after violations with a state law.

With the vetoing of the ban and another bill to strengthen parental consent requirements Napolitano has 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.

Related web sites:
Center for Arizona Policy –
Arizona Catholic Conference –
Arizona Right to Life –