PHOENIX, Arizona, April 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law over the weekend a pro-life measure that makes substantial changes to abortion regulation.
HB 2416 expands the state’s informed consent law, clarifies the term “abortion” to include chemical abortion, prohibits the proscription of RU-486 abortion pills through video-hookup (“telemed abortion”), and creates a requirement for a guardian ad litem for a minor seeking abortion without parental consent.
“Throughout my political career, I’ve had a consistent track record of support for pro-life legislation. This bill sends a message that Arizonans continue to care deeply about protecting life and protecting families,” said Brewer.
Brewer thanked the measure’s sponsors, Rep. Kimberly Yee (R-10th) and Sen. Nancy Barto (R-7th), for sponsoring the measure, as well as Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy for championing the legislation. The pro-life governor said it would provide “critical safeguards for Arizona families.”
The measure requires abortionists to offer women a chance to look at an ultrasound of their unborn baby and a description of its stage of development, at least one hour before a scheduled abortion. It also requires abortionists to give mothers the chance to hear the heartbeat of their unborn baby. The mother must certify that the abortionist offered these services before getting anesthesia and going through the abortion.
Abortionists who violate the law may lose their license to practice medicine, and face severe civil penalties. They can be sued by the mother or the father (if married to the mother). In the case of a minor, the child’s parents can sue on her behalf. The law provides that statutory damages are at least $5000 or three times the cost of the abortion, whichever is greater, in addition to further monetary damages and attorney’s fees.
Earlier last week, Brewer also signed into law, Arizona’s ban on racial and sex-selective abortion, the first such ban in the United States.
The “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011” (HB 2443) makes it a Class 3 felony to perform or in any way coerce someone into receiving an abortion based on the race or gender of the unborn child.
Abortionists convicted of violating the law could face a maximum 3.5 years in prison, and the loss of their medical license. Any medical professional who fails to report a violation is also subject to a $10,000 fine, and can face civil lawsuit from the injured parties.