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Arizona governor signs bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] signed [press release] a bill [HB 2036 materials] on Friday that bans abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks into a pregnancy unless there is a medical emergency. The bill imposes other restrictions such as requiring women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion, as opposed to the one-hour requirement which is currently the law in Arizona. The bill also forbids doctors from prescribing abortion pills after the seventh week of pregnancy. In signing the measure, Brewer stated:

This legislation is consistent with my strong track record of supporting common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population—the unborn. ... Knowing that abortions become riskier the later they are performed in pregnancy, it only makes sense to prohibit these procedures past twenty weeks.
This legislation was passed [JURIST report] by the Arizona House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday, after it was approved [JURIST report] the Arizona State Senate [official website] last week.

Arizona follows many other states that have recently passed laws restricting abortion. In March, Utah passed a law [JURIST report] requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours prior to obtaining the procedure. Also last month, the Idaho State Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] requiring a woman who is seeking an abortion to first receive an ultrasound. Also, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell [official website] signed a similar ultrasound bill into law [JURIST report]. Earlier in March, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a ban on abortions after five months into a pregnancy [JURIST report]. In February, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Texas can enforce a state law requiring women to receive a sonogram before obtaining an abortion. In July, the North Carolina state legislature overrode a governor's veto [JURIST report] to pass a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion.

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