Thursday, September 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood Bows to Arizona Court Ruling

by Karla Dial:  On Monday, the largest abortion provider in Arizona announced it would not appeal a state court decision upholding an expansive new law detailing the conditions under which abortions can be performed.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in early August that the Abortion Consent Act of 2009 would withstand constitutional scrutiny. Under the law, the state requires abortionists to get notarized parental signatures before terminating minors’ pregnancies and to give women complete and accurate information at least 24 hours before performing abortions. The law also states surgical abortions cannot be performed by non-doctors, such as nurse practitioners, and includes an exemption for any medical personnel who say performing abortions will violate their sincerely held moral or religious beliefs.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona said that rather than fighting the ruling, it would “spend its resources elsewhere.”

“We don’t fully know what their motivation is,” said Deborah Sheasby, legal counsel for the Center for Arizona Policy, which helped craft the language in the Abortion Consent Act. “When the law was passed, another abortion provider did a survey of their clients trying to prove it would be a problem, and couldn’t. So they might be trying to do something like that. It’s hard to know.”
The law could take effect as early as next week.

“It was a significant victory when the bill was passed, so seeing it go into effect now, it’s just incredible to see how much of an impact this will make,” Sheasby said. “We think these are going to be really significant laws in Arizona that will protect women and children. Having a waiting period, the same standard you have for other medical procedures, will be the standard of care now in Arizona.”
After Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law in July 2009, Planned Parenthood of Arizona sued to stop it from taking effect, citing constitutional concerns over equal protection and privacy. A trial court granted the injunction that September.

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