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State Lawmakers Move Toward Banning Partial Birth Abortions

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ –
Arizona already has a law making it a crime to abort a partially
delivered fetus, but it was never enforced after a federal judge
declared it unconstitutional. Since then, Congress has approved --
and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld -- a federal ban. But Ron
Johnson, who lobbies for the state's Catholic bishops, said that's
not enough.

"It is totally up to the discretion of the United States attorney
general whether that's going to be enforced in the various
states. Only by creating a statewide ban on partial-birth
abortion will our own local prosecutors be able to have the
authority to make sure that this horrific procedure is never done
in this state by being able to enforce this law," Johnson said.

The Legislature approved the bill last year -- twice -- only to
have both versions vetoed by Gov. Janet Napolitano. She argued
that lawmakers should pay more attention to issues like family
planning and unwanted pregnancy and less to making criminals out
of doctors. Rep. Nancy Barto, who pushed the bill through the
House Committee on Health and Human Services, said she's hoping
that a change of administration will mean a different result this
year. However, a press aide to Jan Brewer refused to say whether the
new governor, who supported anti-abortion bills when she was a
state legislator, would sign this measure.