Court weighs legality of new abortion restrictions

Phoenix, AZ – A judge will decide this afternoon whether to let the state begin
enforcing some new restrictions on abortion.

At a hearing this morning, attorneys for Planned Parenthood
argued that the provisions infringe on a woman's constitutional
right to terminate her pregnancy. Organization president Bryan
Howard singled out a new requirement approved by legislators that
women be given certain information about the procedure at least
24 hours ahead of time and in person.

"They are going to have to travel twice to a health care provider
to access care, regardless of how far they have to travel,
regardless of what arrangements they have to make in their own
lives. They are prohibited from getting that same information
over the phone."

But attorney Steven Aden of the Alliance Defense Fund, whose
organization opposes abortion on demand, said the restrictions --
and the requirement for information ahead of time -- are

"Abortion is available. But it is important that women get full
informed consent and understand what an abortion is and does
before they make the decision. Studies have shown that when women
understand what abortion is and does, most of the times they
change their minds about it. That's good for women and it's good
for women's health."

If requests for an injunction are denied the new restrictions
take effect just after midnight tonight.