Arizona passes second partial-birth abortion ban in face of expected veto

Arizona passes second partial-birth abortion ban in face of expected veto

Gov. Janet Napolitano

Phoenix, Jun 20, 2008 / 11:37 am (CNA).- The Arizona legislature on Wednesday passed another bill to create legal penalties for doctors who perform late-term abortions using what opponents call a “horrific procedure.” The bill is likely to be vetoed by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.

The measure would allow state and county prosecutors to prosecute doctors who perform a controversial late-term abortion procedure known as “partial-birth abortion,” a procedure which is already banned by federal law, the Arizona Republic reports.

While Gov. Napolitano vetoed a similar measure passed earlier in the legislative session, proponents of the latest version of the proposal say they have tried to address the governor’s concerns. The new version allows doctors to seek an opinion from the medical board about whether an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life, a situation which is exempted from the law.

"We've done the best we can to meet her stated objections," said Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, speaking to the Arizona Republic.

“The new partial birth abortion bill going to Governor Napolitano includes the two specific items to which she objected in her veto of an earlier bill. It is our hope that the Governor would now sign this measure and allow local prosecutors the ability to make sure this horrific procedure is never performed in our state,” Johnson told CNA.

Opponents of the ban have doubted the necessity of passing a state version of a federal law and also have voiced concerns that a doctor could be tried under both state and federal law.

Since she took office, Gov. Napolitano has vetoed every bill the legislature has passed to restrict legalized abortion.

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