Bill banning late-term abortions in Arizona awaits governor's signature
Published: April 12, 2012
PHOENIX (CNS) -- The executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops, said he was pleased the Arizona Legislature has passed a bill to outlaw abortions past 20 weeks gestation. "It's very exciting news," Ron Johnson told The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese. "It's on its way to the governor's office now and we're very hopeful that she will sign this bill." In the past, Gov. Jan Brewer has consistently supported pro-life legislation. She had until April 16 to sign it into law or let it become law without her signature. Either way it is to go into effect this summer. Johnson said the bill passed the House April 10 with 37 votes, although only 31 were needed for passage. He noted that one Democrat, Rep. Catherine Miranda, voted for it even though her party doesn't usually support that type of legislation. "We're very appreciative that she made it a bipartisan bill, voting yes on this as a Democrat," Johnson said. He also lauded the efforts of the Alliance Defense Fund and the Bioethics Defense Fund in helping craft the measure and working for its passage. The Senate approved the bill in March. Some six other states already ban abortions after 20 weeks, largely based on the argument that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at that phase in their development. Johnson said that supporters of the bill not only argued that fetuses suffer pain in abortion, but that mothers face a greater risk in late-term procedures.
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