State Capitol News
3:30 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

State Law Restricting Abortion Medication Could Head to U.S. Supreme Court

A federal appeals court has given the state the go-ahead to seek Supreme Court review of its decision restricting use of a controversial abortion drug. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Attorney General Tom Horne
Attorney General Tom Horne
Credit Getty Images


Last month the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of a law which says the drug RU-486 can be used only according to specific protocols approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Most notably, that means only through the first seven weeks of pregnancy. But, Planned Parenthood says it finds a different dosage, combined with another drug, is safe through the ninth week. The appellate judges initially told Attorney General Tom Horne to now take the case back to a trial court. But Horne sought — and the judges agreed — to instead allow him to go to the Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood President Bryan Howard called the move political.

“Attorney General Horne’s decision to go to the U.S. Supreme Court rather than returning to Tucson court as he was instructed to do is really the attorney general’s latest attempt to revive his crisis-plagued reelection campaign, this time on the backs of women seeking health care,” Howard said.

But Horne, who faces a primary challenge from Mark Brnovich, dismissed that contention.

“That’s idiotic. I’m doing my job. It’s my job to defend laws that are passed by the Arizona Legislature. And he’s just being a lapdog for the Democrat,” Horne said.

That refers to Felecia Rotellini who will face off in November against whoever survives the GOP race.