Arizona Abortion Ruling Overturned; Pro-Lifers Celebrate

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By Amanda Winkler, Christian Post Reporter
August 12, 2011|3:35 pm

Arizona pro-life supporters achieved a victory on Thursday when an appeals court threw out an injunction that blocked key aspects of a 2009 Arizona abortion law from taking effect.

The ruling allows the Arizona’s Abortion Consent Act to go into effect, which requires women to have an in-person meeting with a doctor 24 hours before getting an abortion. This meeting, a part of the informed-consent laws, is supposed to ensure that the women are informed of the procedure, possible side effects, and implications of the surgery before they give their consent for it.

“Everyone deserves full and accurate information before undergoing any medical procedure,” said Center for Arizona Policy Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby, in a statement. “These types of protections have been repeatedly upheld and are overwhelmingly supported by the public.”

Other provisions include mandating minors to present a notarized statement from parents before getting an abortion as well as allowing health professionals to refuse to perform abortions if they had moral or religious objections.

The provisions have been blocked for two years now by a lower court judge after Planned Parenthood Arizona challenged it.

In 2009, Superior Court Judge Donald Daughton issued a preliminary injunction to block four of the provisions of the law because he felt they were unconstitutional and could cause harm to women seeking abortions.

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"These are common sense regulations that will help protect Arizona families, and I'm thrilled the Court has allowed the law to take effect as intended," Governor Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona said in a written statement regarding the ruling.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit is based on the concern that it violates a woman's constitutional right to equal protection and privacy and puts unnecessary restrictions on abortion. It is uncertain if Planned Parenthood will choose to appeal the recent ruling.

Bryan Howard, the Arizona Planned Parenthood group's president and chief executive, told Reuters he was disappointed in the ruling.

“The bottom line is that the new restrictions imposed by the law are going to put women in harm's way.”

However, many abortion opponents are thrilled by the decision.

“I was very pleased with the decision. It’s a good step, though long overdue, in the right direction to protect human life,” Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, told the Christian Post.

“The Planned Parenthood statement saying that these provisions will not protect women is an extreme example of their pro-death view. Planned Parenthood has never been concerned with the well-being of women. If they were, why wouldn’t they support informed consent laws?”

Planned Parenthood is the state's largest abortion provider, averaging about 9,000 procedures annually, according to Reuters.

 

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