Arizona bans abortions based on gender and race
Medical professional could face felony charges if they fail to comply
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that makes Arizona the first state to outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus. Under the controversial statute, doctors and other medical professionals will face felony charges if they have performed abortions for the purposes of helping parents select their offspring on the basis of gender or race.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that makes Arizona the first state to outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The women having such abortions would not be penalized. The new ruling comes as anti-abortion groups across the nation try to seize on gains made by political conservatives during the November elections, seeking enactment of new state laws to further restrict abortions.
Backers of the measure say the ban is needed to put an end to discrimination based on sex and race that exists in Arizona and throughout the nation. They say the issue is about bias, rather than any broader stance on abortion.
"Governor Brewer believes society has a responsibility to protect its most vulnerable -- the unborn -- and this legislation is consistent with her strong pro-life track record," a spokesman said.
But opponents maintain that while such abortions may be happening in other countries like China, no clear evidence can found of it occurring in Arizona.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America also said the measure may erode a woman's rights, fearing that doctors for the first time would feel compelled to ask their patients the reasons for seeking an abortion.
A Planned Parenthood official in Arizona condemned the governor's action.
"This law creates a highly unusual requirement that women state publicly their reason for choosing to terminate a pregnancy -- a private decision they already made with their physician, partner and family," Bryan Howard, the group's chief executive says.
The law contains no explicit provision requiring doctors to ask their patients their reasons for seeking an abortion, nor for patients to disclose such reasons. Opponents of the measure feel that the passage of the new law might make them feel more inclined to do so.
The law will take effect 90 days following the end of the current legislative session.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Abortion, Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer
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