Arizona Federal Court Refuses to Block Restrictions on Medication Abortions


On Monday, a federal court in Arizona ruled that a new law and regulations may take effect April 1 to severely restrict access to medication abortion.

In April of 2012, Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a measure that requires the state Department of Health Services to issue regulations restricting medication abortion in such a way that doctors will only be able to offer medication abortion with an inferior, outdated, and less effective protocol. The department issued those regulations in January of this year, and in March the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit in Arizona federal district court, on behalf of Planned Parenthood Arizona and the Tucson Women’s Center, requesting that the court block the law while a trial on its constitutionality proceeded. That request was denied.

“It is appalling that politicians are overriding doctors’ ability to provide the highest quality medical care for women in Arizona,” said Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, in a statement following the decision. “In fact, they are dictating to physicians how to provide care, rather than allowing doctors to follow the best, most up-to-date practices. And, the court agreed that this is precisely what Arizona politicians are allowed to do. Lawmakers have the ability to make laws, even if they harm women,”

Representatives for both Planned Parenthood Arizona and the Center for Reproductive Rights say they are evaluating all available means of continuing to challenge the law. “We are committed to standing with Arizona health care providers and our partners in continuing this legal battle for women’s equal access to essential reproductive health care,” said David Brown, staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement.

The limitations on medication abortion are just the latest in a wave of anti-choice measures to sweep through the state. In 2011, state lawmakers limited medication abortion access in Arizona by banning nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants from providing the service. Arizona lawmakers also passed an unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban in 2012, which was ultimately struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—a decision the U.S. Supreme Court later refused to review.

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  • fiona64

    More politicians practicing medicine without a license.

    • Shan

      “doctors will only be able to offer medication abortion with an inferior, outdated, and less effective protocol.”

      Because that’s SO much safer for women…And we can’t have them getting medication abortions at 8-9wks when they can be forced to have more invasive surgical ones instead, right?

      • L-dan

        I know. *looks for the trolls to mention how this is for safety, obviously*

        *hears crickets*

    • R0chambeau

      How many member of the supreme court that upheld Roe v Wade had medical licenses? Just curious.

      • Shan

        RvW didn’t involve dictating to doctors HOW they were to practice their medicine. Or are you talking about Gonzales v Carhart?

        • R0chambeau

          It didn’t? So a doctor who wanted to perform an elective abortion at say 30 weeks, was able to do so after Roe v Wade?

          Interesting, I didn’t know that. Tell me more.

          • Shan

            “Tell me more.”

            Prove to me you know the difference between the two cases and then you might be worth be conversing with.

      • fiona64

        Roe v. Wade is not about practicing medicine, sweetie. It’s about the right to privacy in medical decisions as a *patient.*

        But you know that, don’t you?

        (Another handle for 5×5, I see …)

        • Encopretic

          RVW establishes a “viability” component in the legality of abortions. How is that not practicing medicine when it takes the decision away from the doctor/patient and now grants it to the legality determined by the court?

          • Shan

            No. Viability is a medical determination made by the physician on a case-by-case basis.

          • Encopretic

            So you think a physician can determine that a third trimester fetus is non-viable and just go ahead with an abortion?

            You might want to check up on the legality of that because that isn’t true at all.

          • Shan

            “So you think a physician can determine that a 30-week old fetus is non-viable and just go ahead with an abortion?”

            Don’t do the strawman thing. That just makes you look stupid for presuming that I am. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

            “You might want to check up on the legality of that because that isn’t true at all.”

            I already know what RvW says about those things.

          • Encopretic

            So RVW, just like this Arizona court is “practicing medicine without a license” as the above posted mentioned. The only difference between the two rulings is that you probably agree with one ruling and do not agree with the other. But besides that, it is still legislation requiring certain restriction on abortion that are determined by law, and not a physician.

          • Shan

            No. You obviously don’t know the difference betwen RvW, GvC or this Arizona thing. If you want help figuring them out, just say. In the meantime, you should really stop flopping down these lame strawmen arguments. They just make you look ignorant and/or desperate..

          • Encopretic

            No, I was correct. It’s not the fact that legislation has been passed that is “practicing medicine” that you oppose. If that were the case, then you’d also be against the ACA or RvW.

            It’s the new restriction on abortion that you’re opposed to. Look, I don’t care if you’re against the new restriction on abortion. That’s your prerogative. Just don’t hide your true motives.

          • Shan

            Nope, you know dick about the ACA, RvW, GvC or the Arizona legislation. Run along now back to NRO, you’ll be much more comfortable there.

          • Encopretic

            I hit a nerve.

          • Shan

            Well, yes, of course you would have with the number of times you’ve stomped on your own Johnson here.

          • Encopretic

            And now the sexist insults begin. Classy.

          • Shan

            Don’t expect everyone else to set the bar higher than you have, dearie.

          • Arekushieru

            You can’t be sexist against men. And believing that someone has a penis instead of a vagina is not an insult against women. Kthx.

          • JamieHaman

            The ACA doesn’t practice medicine. It regulates health insurance, insisting that it maintain minimum standards of care. You should read it, with a dictionary at hand.

          • fiona64

            It’s 5×5, baby … cruising for a fourth banning under one of s/h/it’s numerous sock puppets.

          • Shan

            Enh, they all start to sound the same after a while.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            I don’t think that enc or ROC are five. They were around before her. I just think they are idiots.

          • Arekushieru

            You don’t have much familiarity with reading comprehension, do you?

            “doctors will only be able to offer medication abortion with an inferior, outdated, and less effective protocol.”

            Does Roe Vs Wade really sound similar to a case like this, wherein a doctor is told to use inferior medical practices instead of the higher standards to which he/she is normally held? Nope. Instead, it actually sounds like the doctor was allowed to use their best medical practices to direct the medical treatment of the patient according to the latter’s wishes. Oops?

            Is viability a medical determination or a legal determination? If a medical determination, then you’ve just put your foot in your mouth, as usual. After all, that means that doctors are not being told HOW to do their job (the same difference that I just described above), determining viability that is, as people have been TRYING to explain to you, but, of which, you remain deliberately obtuse. Anything beyond that is simply the government conferring (unconstitutional) rights upon a fetus.

          • lady_black

            Yes I absolutely believe that. All third trimester fetuses are not viable, and some never will be. That’s a matter for doctors and patients, not legislators.

          • fiona64

            Yep, 5×6 … that is exactly what a physician can do.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Medical decisions should be made by medical professionals, not the courts.

          • JamieHaman

            What do you think that fetal stethoscope is for anyway? Ultrasounds? Amniocentesis? Genetic tests? 8 plus years of training? Exactly so Doctors can tell if a fetus is viable!
            A woman carrying a dead fetus is at major risk for life ending infection. Yes, Doctors dammed well know how to determine if a fetus is viable especially in the third trimester.
            To pass a law forbidding a Doctor to end a non-viable fetus, forcing a woman to carry a dead fetus is to be a brute. Cruel. Vicious. Gee, that sounds like today’s Christian extremist pro-lifers.

          • lady_black

            Roe makes no attempt to practice medicine. A doctor determines fetal viability, which is not merely a function of gestational age. Some fetuses will never be viable regardless of gestational age.

          • fiona64

            Sorry, 5×5 … I’m not playing your stupid game anymore.

          • Unicorn Farm

            Ughghg. The establishment of the “viability component”, as you say, in Roe as a part of the analysis of whether an abortion was permissible was not a determination about the scientific elements of the abortion procedure. The viability component of the Roe analysis relates only to the state’s interest in the fetus.

          • Renee Goodwin

            I’m still scratching my head over that part, why should the state have an inherent interest in the fetus? It’s sort of like saying that up until a certain point in the pregnacy the woman is a free agent, but after that her body becomes the unwilling property of the state.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            Taxpayers
            Consumers
            Soldiers

          • JamieHaman

            THAT is exactly what it says. It is insane for me to contemplate.

      • HeilMary1

        YOU have no medical license.

        • R0chambeau

          You’re right, I don’t. Do you?

          • Arekushieru

            SHE’S not the one trying to practice without a medical license. YOU, however, are trying to pretend that you know what comes under a physician’s job description, which is very close to doing the same thing. SFS.

      • expect_resistance

        Why? Just for your curiosity? Or do you have a point? Look it up for yourself unless you have something to say.

      • lady_black

        Irrelevant. Roe wasn’t directives on how to perform abortions. Clearly you don’t understand the case at all.

        • R0chambeau

          Roe didn’t limit abortions based on “viability?”

          Hmm….maybe you should read it sometime.

          • Unicorn Farm

            The establishment of the “viability component” in Roe as a part of the analysis of whether an abortion is permissible was not a determination about the scientific/medical elements of the abortion procedure. The viability component of the Roe analysis relates only to the state’s interest in the fetus.

          • L-dan

            Notably, the non-medically trained justices did not try to set specific benchmarks for viability, leaving that to doctors. Something legislatures all over the place are going well beyond.

          • lady_black

            I have read it, and I have studied it. Roe used a trimester framework. No legislating on medical technique in Roe. Viability is a decision made by a doctor, not a legislator. They know not.

      • Ivy Mike

        How many politicians trying to ban or regulate abortion out of existence have doctorates?

        How many who incessantly propose useless rules and regulations designed to make abortion more difficult to access have such accreditation?

        How many preachers and priests who rail constantly about medical or scientific issues have any proper training AT ALL?

        What you fail to realize, in your obvious glee at having been “clever” (which failed, BTW), is that our side is NOT attempting to ban or restrict anyone’s rights…that’s you lunatics. You’ve got a much higher bar to jump.

      • JamieHaman

        You don’t need a medical license to allow doctors to practice medicine. What you do need to do is mind your own business, and let women mind their own business.
        When doctors who actually practice medicine tell you that the law you are proposing puts women and their families in danger a smart person would withdraw that law.
        We don’t have smart people in office. We have mean people who choose another route to controlling women and their bodies with no concern for those consequences in office.

    • expect_resistance

      Yes, and every time they do this they harm women. Really fed up with it.