Phoenix, AZ – Organization President Bryan Howard said it makes no financial sense to fight last month's decision by the Court of Appeals allowing the limits to take effect. Those changes range from requiring a woman to have a personal consultation with a doctor at least 24 hours before terminating a pregnancy to requiring all abortions to be performed only by doctors. But Howard said Planned Parenthood will monitor whether the changes require women to wait longer before they can get an abortion. And the later into a pregnancy an abortion occurs, the higher the risk.
(Patients, if they identify that they're pregnant by the ninth week of pregnancy, they should have two choices. They should be able to choose between an early surgical abortion or medication abortion, which is involves nothing more than taking a pill on Day 1 and another pill on Day. 2. They should have that choice.)
Howard said one legal fight that remains is whether the state can prohibit specially trained nurse practitioners from performing medical abortions. He said Planned Parenthood could gain new ammunition in that fight if the data shows the other restrictions force women to have a more invasive surgical abortion. Abortion foes argue all Planned Parenthood has to do is hire more doctors. But Howard said there are not many physicians who are both properly trained and willing to put up with harassment. In the meantime, while the restrictions remain in place, Howard has some advice.
(The best thing that women and families in the state can do now is focus on prevention. Women are only affected by these laws if they experience an unintended pregnancy.)
Planned Parenthood will continue offering abortions at only three of its 10 sites because there are not enough doctors to go around. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.