Arizona State House Approves Omnibus Pro-Life Bill, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2009
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — The Arizona state House on Wednesday approved a pair of pro-life bills including an omnibus pro-life measure with several abortion limits and a partial-birth abortion ban. The bills now head to the state Senate and then to pro-life Gov. Jan Brewer, who is expected to sign them.
The house signed off on the partial-birth abortion ban on a 36-19 vote and the omnibus pro-life bill 37-19.
"It was a banner day at the House of Representatives today," Ron Johnson of the Arizona Catholic Conference told LifeNews.com.
He said the partial-birth abortion ban is necessary even though there is a federal ban in place.
"This legislation is important because it enables local prosecutors to bring legal actions in order to make sure that this horrific procedure is never performed in Arizona," Johnson said.
During the debate on the pro-life bills, sponsor Rep. Nancy Barto, a Republican from Phoenix, said they were reasonable measures that would help women and reduce abortions.
Democratic Reps. Steve Farley and Olivia Cajero Bedford took the lead in opposing the bills.
The omnibus bill, HB 2464, calls for informed consent before abortions can be performed along with a 24 hour waiting period and meaningful parental consent requirements. It also includes a prohibition on non-doctors doing surgical abortions and rights of conscience for all health care providers (including pharmacists) in matters involving abortion and abortion drug.
Finally, the measure further protects the civil rights of health care professionals not to participate in abortion or dispense drugs that would result in an abortion.
The Center for Arizona Policy is also strongly supporting the bill.
"This bill is designed to clarify and update our abortion statutes to protect women, children, parents, and the civil rights of healthcare workers," Cathi Herrod told LifeNews.com on Monday.
"The bill addresses problems with the statute requiring parental consent before a minor girl receives an abortion, requires that women be given full and accurate information and time to consider that information before an abortion, and protects healthcare workers from being forced to participate in abortion against their moral and religious beliefs," she explained.
Meanwhile, Johnson indicated the state House also approved a bill that would streamline the charitable organization tax credit benefiting crisis pregnancy centers. The vote on HB 2286 was 55-1.
With pro-life Gov. Jan Brewer replacing Napolitano, who took an Obama administration position, pro-life groups hope the bills will finally become law.
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