Federal Judge Refuses to Block Arizona Abortion Restrictions from Going into Effect

Mar 31, 2014

A federal judge this afternoon refused to block a new abortion regulation from taking effect as scheduled in the morning. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Credit lifeissues.com

Some doctors now use RU-486 and another drug to induce abortions during the first nine weeks of pregnancy. But, state lawmakers voted to allow that drug to be used only as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration, which means only through seven weeks. Attorneys for abortion provider clinics sought to block enforcement while they fight the law, saying it illegally infringes on the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy. Judge David Bury rejected that argument, saying there are safe alternatives, including a surgical abortion. But, attorney David Brown from the Center for Reproductive Rights said that’s not the point.

“For the state Legislature to say, well, we get to choose for you as long as you have some option, we don’t care what you reasons are for not wanting to use it is really offensive to the dignity of women,” Brown said.

Bury’s ruling does not end the legal fight. He simply denied the request to enjoin enforcement of the law while its legality is litigated. But, in refusing to issue the injunction, Bury concluded that challengers are not likely to succeed with their claims after all is said and done. Cathi Herrod of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy said other federal courts around the country have reached similar conclusions.

“Planned Parenthood has to follow the law, has to follow the protocol from the Food and Drug Administration in administering medication abortions,” Herrod said.