State Capitol News
Wed March 28, 2012
AZ Senate Approves One of Most Restrictive Abortion Laws in Nation
The measure would make it a crime to terminate a pregnancy once a fetus reached 20 weeks. Foes have said such decisions are best left to a woman and her doctor. But Republican Senator Steve Yarbrough said it's not that simple.
"There's a third person in that room," he argued. "There is the baby. Who speaks for her, the totally innocent one with no voice? Who has the duty and the right to speak for her? We do."
That cutoff is based on arguments that a fetus that far along is capable of feeling pain. Senate Democrat David Schapira told colleagues that is far from a universal belief.
"I think we should weigh that and we should consider that when we cast our votes," said Schapira. "Just like if a vast majority of educators say something in education is a bad idea or recommend that we do something in education, I think we should hear them out."
But Republican Senator Steve Smith said he hears different voices, "I would like to listen to the 50 million plus children that have been aborted and killed since Roe v. Wade."
The 20-10 vote sends the measure to the House.