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Arizona House votes to ban abortions after 20 weeks

The Arizona House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [HB 2036 materials] on Tuesday that bans abortions [JURIST news archive] after 20 weeks into a pregnancy, with an exception carved out only for medical emergencies. In addition to banning abortions after 20 weeks, the bill imposes other restrictions. It requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion [Arizona Republic report], as opposed to the one-hour requirement which is currently the law in Arizona. The legislation was approved [JURIST report] by the Arizona State Senate [official website] in late March. The measure passed with a vote [results] of 37-22 that was not strictly along party lines. The bill now goes before Governor Jan Brewer [official profile] for her signature within the next five days.

Many states 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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