Governor Jan Brewer today signed into law HB 2036 -- the Mother's Health and Safety Act -- which strengthens current state laws to safeguard maternal health and protect Arizona's unborn. Among its provisions, the bill prohibits an abortion if the gestational age of the unborn child is determined to be at least 20 weeks, except in cases when the life or health of the mother is at risk.
"This legislation is consistent with my strong track record of supporting common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population -- the unborn," said Governor Brewer. "Knowing that abortions become riskier the later they are performed in pregnancy, it only makes sense to prohibit these procedures past twenty weeks."
Arizona now joins seven states with similar regulations prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Among its provisions, HB 2036:
* Bars abortions after 20 weeks due to safety risks to the mother and the likelihood that the unborn child will endure pain;
* Strengthens existing parental consent and informed consent regulations, including requiring that women seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound at least 24 hours in advance, and establishing the development of a website with facts about fetal development and abortion risks.
* Requires that any physician on-site for a surgical abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, in case of abortion-caused complications.
"I want to thank Governor Brewer for signing the Women's Health and Safety Act," said state Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-LD10. "This important bill strengthens Arizona's laws protecting the health and safety of women, and recognizes the precious life of the preborn baby."
This is the latest legislation signed into law by Governor Brewer to safeguard the health and safety of women and protect the unborn. Among these measures, the Governor has barred non-physicians from performing abortions, and required written, notarized parental consent for any minor seeking an abortion.