Judge Refuses to Block Arizona Abortion Regs, Law Takes Effect

Members of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and more than 20 other organizations hold a "Stand Up for Women's Health" rally in support of abortion in Washington, D.C. April 7, 2011. (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

A bottle and two pills of mifepristone, formerly know as RU-486 are seen in a handout photo. (Photo: Reuters/Newscom)

A United States District Court judge has refused to block the implementation of new abortion regulations in Arizona.

Judge David C. Bury decided Monday to not temporarily block new regulations for the Arizona Department of Health Services based on HB 2036, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in 2012.

The regulations that took effect on Tuesday require abortionists to adhere to FDA guidelines for prescribing and dispensing abortion-inducing drugs, such as RU486. Such measures ban the use of abortion-inducing drugs after the seventh week of pregnancy.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers claim that requiring abortionists to follow the FDA's guidelines will harm women, because they will no longer be able to prescribe these drugs through the ninth week of pregnancy.

"Whether or not these factors are substantial obstacles to abortion remains to be seen, but based on the limited record before the Court they do not qualify as irreparable harm," ruled Bury.

The Arizona chapter of Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights had sued the state over the new regulations and are planning to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court.

In a statement the Center for Reproductive Rights staff attorney David Brown expressed disapproval of Bury's denial of an injunction against the regulations.

"Arizona women should not be denied their constitutional rights or their ability to get critical healthcare from the medical professionals they trust while this unconstitutional law continues to make its way through the courts," stated Brown.

The Center for Arizona Policy, a pro-life organization that has supported several state level bills to regulate or restrict abortion, approves of the new rules.

"When Planned Parenthood loses, women win," stated Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy.

"It's common-sense regulations protecting the health and safety of women considering an abortion."

Arizona is not the only state that has passed an increasingly number of pro-life legislative agenda items. In past years, states like Kansas and Oklahoma have passed laws regulating the distribution of RU486. They placed the limit at seven weeks, with Arizona's 2012 law echoing that standard.

"Today's decision by a federal court to deny a request by Arizona's largest abortion provider to temporarily block a common sense health and safety standard is a victory for anyone who cares for the well-being of women," continued Herrod.

"I call on the abortion giant to drop their challenge. It would be shameful for Planned Parenthood to continue to waste state resources by pressing on with this frivolous lawsuit."

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