Arizona governor signs law banning most late-term abortions

PHOENIX Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:11am IST

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer talks to reporters after voting for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Glendale, Arizona February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer talks to reporters after voting for Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in Glendale, Arizona February 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

Related Topics

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Thursday a controversial bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, giving Republicans a win in ongoing national efforts to impose greater restrictions on abortion.

The measure, which state lawmakers gave a final nod to on Tuesday, would bar healthcare professionals from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of a medical emergency. Only a small number of these abortions are performed in the state.

With Brewer's signature, Arizona joins six other states that have put similar late-term abortion bans in place in the past two years based on hotly debated medical research suggesting that a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of gestation.

Georgia lawmakers approved a similar bill in March that now awaits the signature of Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

Late-term abortions will still be allowed in Arizona in situations where continuing a pregnancy risks death or would "create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function." This is to be determined by a physician's "good faith clinical judgment."

The law also requires a woman to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to having an abortion, instead of the one hour previously mandated under state law.

State officials are required to create a website that details such items as the risks of the procedure and shows pictures of the fetus in various stages.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortions nationwide in 1973 but allowed states to ban the procedure after the time when the fetus could potentially survive outside the womb, except where a woman's health was at risk.

(Editing Tim Gaynor and Cynthia Johnston; desking by Cynthia Osterman)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reading the Brain

Reading the Brain

Guilt may spoil restorative effects of entertainment.  Full Article 

Heart Matters

Heart Matters

Weekday heart attacks still getting quicker treatment at hospitals.  Full Article 

Tackling Stress

Tackling Stress

'Interreality' may enhance stress therapies.  Full Article 

Jogging Helps

Jogging Helps

Short jogs linked to lower risk of death from heart disease.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage