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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

Restrictions on some types of abortions in Arizona went into effect Tuesday morning after a federal judge upheld state changes limiting a woman’s access to an abortion-inducing drug.

U.S. District Judge David Bury issued an order Monday afternoon rejecting a bid to block the new abortion restrictions while the state’s 2012 law is litigated. The law allowed the state to issue new rules banning the use of the most common abortion-inducing drug, RU-486, after the seventh week of pregnancy, compared with the current restriction of nine weeks.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of local groups supporting abortion rights, said it is evaluating all available means of continuing to challenge the new rules.

Arizona has been aggressive in pushing anti-abortion measures, a movement that has included more than a dozen other states seeking to limit the 1973 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. Laws over access to abortion have been challenged in Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas.

States have tried to increase inspections of facilities, arguing they were needed to protect women’s health, and impose new restrictions on what drugs can be used at different stages of pregnancy.

The Arizona Legislature in the last few years has approved a number of anti-abortion measures. A House of Representatives-approved bill that is being considered by the Senate would allow for surprise, warrantless inspections of abortion clinics. Proponents of the bill say it protects women from clinics that are not up to health standards. Opponents say it puts women at risk and violates their privacy.

In January, the Arizona Department of Health Services issued new rules limiting RU-486, prompting Planned Parenthood Arizona and the private abortion clinic Tucson Women’s Center, to sue. Through its lawyers at the Center for Reproductive Rights, the groups argued that the rules infringe on a woman’s ability to have an abortion.

“This law serves no purpose other than to prevent Arizona women from using a safe alternative to surgical abortion and force their doctors to follow an outdated, riskier and less effective method,” David Brown, a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “This is what happens when politicians, not doctors, practice medicine.”

Bury was asked to grant an injunction that would have blocked the rules from taking effect, but the judge rejected that request after the state argued that the rules were just a small shift.

“The court finds that the injunction is not in the public interest,” the judge ruled, while acknowledging that the ruling would make it difficult for some women to get abortions.

Planned Parenthood estimated that 800 women would have had to get surgical abortions, rather than drug-induced ones, if the rules were in effect in 2012.

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

  • Grannysmovin

    How is forcing a woman to have a surgical abortion in the best health interest of women? Isn’t using an even safer alternative in the best health interest of the woman?

    • Allan Richardson

      That’s why they won’t allow the surgical abortion EITHER. Basically, they don’t want people to have access to birth control (OR EVEN the regular checkups that go along with it to prevent cancer). But if they do get it, and it fails (or if “he” the husband, boyfriend, adult relative, or rapist, refuses to use it), they want them to have children they cannot support, while they rig the economy to make SURE those children cannot be supported, and eventually raise children so angry that the boys will become criminals (thankfully, many do not) and the girls will repeat their mothers’ lives (thankfully, many do not), in order to keep breeding future prisoner-slaves for the prison industrial complex.

    • jointerjohn

      The right wing doesn’t give a damn about the best interests of women, health or otherwise. They couldn’t even support equal pay for women. Only the best interests of the rich matter to them.

    • dpaano

      Granny…’re being waaaay too logical again!! Remember, the GOP doesn’t think with their brains!

  • Phil Temmer

    re:”“This is what happens when politicians, not doctors, practice medicine.”

    More to the point, This is what happens when politicians practice religion. The poison of the religious right is seeping into state governments in the Bible belt, making these states pseudo theocracies, and contradicting the spirit and intent of the Supreme Court decision allowing women to have safe and legal abortions.

  • terry b

    The Nazi party just can’t do enough to roll back their right to choose. They are truly an intrinsically evil party hell bound to deprive women of such an important right. Next they will try to suppress voting rights. Oh that’s right! They are already doing that. Hence the nickname “Nazi Party”. Fascists yes but so were the original Nazi’s.

  • Ford Truck

    Their next step will be to restrict a woman from going to another state where RU-486 is legal, meaning they will lock her up if she tries. Far fetched? It has been done in some nations in Europe!!

    • Pamby50

      That is sad but true. These women will need to go to a state that does take care of their needs. If not they will have these drugs brought in from Mexico. When that doesn’t work, and that will happen, then they will have to see a doctor. That is when the government will put them in jail. What a joke.