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House committee approves new abortion restrictions

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – The House Health Committee voted this morning to approve new
restrictions on abortion. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer
explains what's in the bill -- and why the vote was unanimous.

HB 2564 would require women to wait for 24 hours before
terminating a pregnancy, allow health professionals, hospitals
and pharmacists to refuse to perform abortions or provide
"morning after'' pills, and spell out what factors a judge may
consider in determining if a minor is mature enough to have an
abortion without first getting parental consent. The measure was
approved on a 5-0 vote after the three Democrats on the committee
walked out. Rep. Ed Ableser said it was a protest.

"They've stacked the committee in such a way that Democrats are
irrelevant to the committee. And because of that, because of the
6-3 differential, that was the message we were sending, that we
are not going to partake in their silly little games in committee
when we are completely neglected, completely left to the side."

House Speaker Kirk Adams admitted all the Republicans on the
panel are against abortion. But he said that's true of most GOP
legislators. He didn't think much of the walkout.

"It sounds like a temper tantrum occurring. Clearly, they don't
agree with the bill. The responsible thing is to stay and state
your case and vote against the bill."

The bill now goes to the full House where it likely has the votes
to pass.