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Brewer signs bill banning abortions after 20 weeks

Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in most cases, making Arizona one of only a handful of states in the country with such a restriction.

With Brewer’s signature on HB2036, Arizona becomes the eighth state to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. The bill also requires women to get an ultrasound at least 24 hours before getting an abortion, requires the state to set up an informational website that women can view before getting an abortion, and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

The bill was a top priority of the social conservative Center for Arizona Policy, which praised Brewer’s decision to sign the bill. CAP President Cathi Herrod also thanked Rep. Kimberly Yee, the bill’s sponsor, and Sen. Nancy Barto, who pushed the bill in the Senate, for helping to pass the “much-needed law.”

“HB2036 provides for the health needs of women considering an abortion, ensuring that women have all the information they need when making this life-changing decision. Abortion not only ends the life of a pre-born child, but it also seriously endangers the health and safety of women,” Herrod said in a written statement.

Supporters of the bill argued that abortions after 20 weeks pose significant health risks to women, and that it is necessary because fetuses can feel pain at that point. Opponents said some women face health risks by carrying pregnancies to term, and disputed the assertions that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks.

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