State Capitol News
Wed September 30, 2009
New abortion restrictions not yet taking place
Phoenix, AZ – One provision required a woman wanting to terminate her pregnancy
to go to the clinic twice, once to be given some information by a
doctor about the procedure and a second time at least 24 hours
later to actually have it done. Maricopa County Superior Court
Judge Donald Daughton said there's nothing necessarily wrong with
the waiting period. But on Tuesday he accepted arguments by
attorneys for Planned Parenthood that forcing a woman to make two
trips was not legally defensible. He said there is no reason they
can't get that information by phone. He also said the information
could be given by a qualified counselor rather than a doctor.
That disappointed Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion
Center for Arizona Policy.
(For a woman to receive full information about the procedure, its
risks, its alternatives, the woman needs to see a doctor before
she makes the decision. Virtually any other medical procedure you
have, you see a doctor, you have a consultation with a doctor.
And then you schedule the procedure for a later time.)
Daughton also barred the state from enforcing other provisions of
the law, including one that would have allowed pharmacists to
refuse to dispense emergency contraceptives known as the morning
after pill to rape victims. Tuesday's ruling means the law
remains unenforceable until a full-blown trial on its legality,
something that could take months. For Arizona Public Radio this
is Howard Fischer.