by Jen Swedish, Health Law Fellow
National Women’s Law Center
Now that Janet Napolitano has left her position as Arizona’s governor to serve in President Obama’s Cabinet, anti-choice members of the Arizona State Legislature are wasting no time with a state copycat of the federal ban upheld in Gonzales v. Carhart. As my colleague Gretchen Borchelt has reported before, the federal ban prohibits a medically-approved abortion procedure without making an exception for women’s health. State copycat bans, like the one introduced in Arizona, often seek harsher penalties for doctors and more aggressive enforcement of the law.
Then-Governor Napolitano vetoed two state copycat bills during the 2008 session of the Arizona legislature, so it’s no surprise that anti-choice legislators are trying again now that she’s gone. And, there’s reason to believe this bill may move quickly – it was introduced in the Arizona House last Tuesday and unanimously approved by committee the very next day. The bill now goes to the full House, and its sponsors are confident that current Governor Jan Brewer, unlike her predecessor, would sign it if it passes the legislature. We’re paying close attention and will keep you posted.