Posts tagged Arizona
Posts tagged Arizona
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Updated: 2:38 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2012
Published: 2:13 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2012
Arizona’s ban on abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy will take effect this week as scheduled after a federal judge ruled Monday that the new law is constitutional.
U.S. District Judge James Teilborg said the statute may prompt a few pregnant women who are considering abortion to make the decision earlier. But he said the law is constitutional because it doesn’t prohibit any women from making the decision to end their pregnancies.
The judge also wrote that the state provided “substantial and well-documented” evidence that an unborn child has the capacity to feel pain during an abortion by at least 20 weeks.
The ban, set to take effect Thursday, is similar but not identical to those enacted by other states. It prohibits abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies. That is a change from the current ban at viability, which is the ability to survive outside the womb and which generally is considered to be about 24 weeks. A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the ban into law in April, making Arizona one of 10 states to enact types of 20-week bans.
Teilborg held a hearing Wednesday on a request from abortion-rights groups that he temporarily block the law’s enforcement.
The abortion-rights groups’ lawyer said during the hearing that the ban crosses a clear line on what U.S. Supreme Court rulings permit, and it intrudes on women’s health decisions at a key point in pregnancy. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the state Legislature was justified in enacting the ban to protect the health of women and shield fetuses from pain.
A second Arizona anti-abortion law enacted earlier this year also faces a court challenge. That law would bar public funding for non-abortion health care provided by abortion doctors and clinics.
Both anti-abortion laws are among many approved by Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature. The other laws include restrictions on clinic operations, mandates for specific disclosures and a prohibition on a type of late-term abortion.
Attorney Janet Crepps of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights argued at Wednesday’s hearing that under Supreme Court decisions starting with the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion, states can only regulate how abortions are performed, not ban them, before a fetus is viable.
Montgomery said that not implementing the 20-week ban would doom fetuses that might be saved due to advances in medicine.
While North Carolina has long had a 20-week ban, Nebraska in 2010 was the first state to recently enact one. Five more states followed in 2010: Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Along with Arizona, Georgia and Louisiana approved 20-week bans this year, though Georgia’s doesn’t take effect until 2013.
The Center for Reproductive Rights said none of the 20-week bans have so far been blocked by courts.
July 30, 2012 03:38 PM EDT
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted: 05/23/2012 1:40 pm Updated: 05/23/2012 5:50 pm
A swarm of Washington, D.C., residents descended on Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Ariz.) Capitol Hill office on Wednesday to drop off plastic rats, pictures of potholes, unfair parking tickets and other representations of municipal problems in protest of the D.C. abortion ban he sponsored.
Franks recently introduced a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in D.C. and denied D.C.’s only elected representative, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), from testifying at the hearing on the bill. The incident sparked debates about D.C.’s lack of voting representation in Congress, since Norton does not have a vote.
Wednesday’s protest was organized by DC Vote, an advocacy group dedicated to securing full representation for D.C. in Congress, and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. One by one, about 50 protesters knocked on the door of Franks’ office, and then spoke a few words about a problem in the city that they think “Mayor Franks” should address if he’s going to be writing laws that affect D.C. residents.
“My issue today is Metro — full funding for Metro,” said Jon Ozment, a 56-year-old D.C. resident. “As a constituent here, I use Metro all the time, my children use it, and it’s really disgraceful the condition they’ve allowed Metro to get to.”
“I have to say I’m very disappointed today,” he added. “I really wanted to meet my representative, Mr. Franks. He’s supposed to be representing us and I did take some time to come in here today, so I hope he takes these concerns into account.”
Franks’ office did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Franks told the Washington City Paper last week that D.C. residents who were upset about representation issues were “missing the point.”
“District of Columbia is not the issue here,” Franks said. “It’s the pain of the child, and when people make the District of Columbia the issue they’re missing the point.”
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), fired back at the D.C. protesters in an email to HuffPost later Wednesday.
“The local demonstrators say, in effect, that the federal capital city belongs to them and that the rest of America should just shut up,” he said. “But the U.S. Constitution makes it crystal clear that the District of Columbia belongs to all of the American people, and is to be governed by the Congress and the president.”
This article has been updated to reflect comment from the National Right to Life Committee.
Published: 05 April, 2012, 23:35
A new bill up for vote in the state of Arizona would ban…
Arizona, I haven’t been friends with you for a while now, but seriously…I’m getting a restraining order.
A Republican state legislator in Arizona reportedly wrote an email to a constituent saying that women should witness an abortion before having an abortion.
The email published on a political blog on the Arizona Republic’s website Tuesday is apparently from State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) and appears to have been sent from a state email, the paper said.
The email was in response to a constituent who said she emailed Proud and fellow lawmakers to let them know she opposed the bill pending in the Legislature that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The site reports that the email is unedited.
“Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a “surgical procedure”. If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else.
Until the dead child can tell me that she/he does not feel any pain - I have no intentions of clearing the conscience of the living - I will be voting YES.”
An aide in Proud’s Phoenix office told The Huffington Post that Proud was performing legislative duties and unavailable for immediate comment. She has not returned a message left with her office.
The email is drawing quick criticism from Democratic lawmakers.
“This is another instance of them going off the deep end on this,” House Minority Leader Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix) told HuffPost. “This is a continued attack on women’s health care and women’s choice. I wonder if Representative Proud would agree with this on every surgical procedure. This is ludicrous.”
Campbell said he hopes Proud was not serious in her email and would not be proposing it as an amendment to the bill.
Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tucson), a physician, said Tuesday Proud’s email shows a misunderstanding of laws and procedures governing medicine and medical education. Heinz said there are laws in place to prevent spectators from watching surgery, which would include abortions. He also suggested that Proud consider other issues.
“My only response is for this Legislature to stop this embarrassing obsession with social issues that do not create a single job in our state,” said Heinz, who also characterized the email as a “hodgepodge of crazy.”
In addition to the abortion ban, the Arizona Legislature is considering bills to defund Planned Parenthood, allow doctors to withhold information from patients to prevent abortions, and to allow employers to opt out of contraception coverage for religious reasons. The contraception bill also would allow employers to demand women provide reasons for why they are using birth control and allow for firing if it is for nonmedical reasons.
Proud is known as one of the more conservative members of the Legislature and earlier this month passed a bill to allow public schools to teach the Bible as an elective class.
Campbell said though that the email could be revealing a liberal bent in his colleague. “Talk about big government, that’s the epitome of big government,” Campbell said. “This is getting out of hand.”