Arizona governor signs bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks

Arizona governor signs bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks

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[JURIST] 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.