Arizona House Committee Unanimously Approves Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
by Steven Ertelt
January 21, 2009
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — Invigorated by knowing they have a new governor who will likely sign it into law, members of a legislative committee in Arizona unanimously approved a partial-birth abortion ban. Thanks to Barack Obama selecting pro-abortion Gov. Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security Secretary, there is an ideological change in the governor’s seat.
Out is an abortion advocate who vetoed every one of the several pro-life measures the legislature sent to her and in is pro-life former Secretary of State Jan Brewer.
With that in mind, the House Health & Human Services Committee approved the ban, HB 2400, by a 6-0 vote. All of the panel’s Republicans backed the measure while none of the three Democrats were present for the vote because they were in Washington for the inauguration.
Rep. Andy Tobin, a Republican from Paulden, said the measure is the "ultimate health care bill for children" who could otherwise be killed in the abortion procedure.
"There is nothing that’s extreme about this bill. What’s extreme is the procedure," he said, according to media reports.
Yet Bryan Howard, chief executive of Planned Parenthood Arizona, responded with an ironic comment in his own statement.
"If this is a signal about the weeks and months ahead, our children and our families are going to suffer," Howard said.
Arizona could be the next state to ban partial-birth abortions following a Supreme Court decision in April 2007 upholding a federal ban on them.
States are banning the abortions to allow local officials to assist federal authorities in enforcing the law and in case the federal law is ever repealed.
The state law is needed because the federal law only applies in limited scenarios, because parallel state and federal bans give prosecutors more options, and because regulating abortion is primarily the job of the states, Cathi Herrod, president of The Center for Arizona Policy, told LifeNews.com.
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.
Napolitano has vetoed eight pro-life bills that would have put common-sense abortion limits in place.
Those bills range from measures to inform women of the risks of abortion, prohibit non-doctors from doing abortions, and to strengthen current laws requiring parental consent before a minor can have an abortion.
In April, Napolitano vetoed both a partial-birth abortion ban as well as a bill to strengthen parental consent requirements.
Cathi Herrod, president of The Center for Arizona Policy, told LifeNews.com at the time that the veto had Napolitano showing "her radical pro-abortion position."
The Governor is establishing a track record of being one of the most pro-abortion governors this country has ever seen, said Herrod.
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