Planned Parenthood drops lawsuit against Arizona abortion laws

A sign hangs above a Planned Parenthood clinic on May 18, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Attorneys representing Planned Parenthood have filed a request in court to drop legal action against a pair of Arizona laws regulating abortionists and their clinic procedures. 

Planned Parenthood Arizona filed a joint stipulation for voluntary dismissal without prejudice in the United States District Court on Tuesday, without an explanation provided.

As part of the stipulation, all parties involved in the litigation will bear their own legal costs and fees, with no official “prevailing party” named in the action.

As a result, the state laws, which include one that mandates a 24-hour waiting period and another that bans abortionists from doing telemedicine abortions, will go into effect.

Lola Bovell of Planned Parenthood said in a statement to Capitol Media Services that the abortion business remains opposed to the Arizona laws despite dropping the case.

“The status of this lawsuit does not change the fact that harmful laws like telemedicine bans, advance practice clinician bans, and mandatory waiting periods push abortion access out of reach for far too many people,” Bovell argued.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented a pro-life pregnancy care center that intervened in the case, celebrated the decision to end the litigation.

In March, Choices Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix was granted the right to intervene specifically on the part of the suit centered on the mandatory 24-hour waiting period. 

“… we are pleased that Planned Parenthood has notified the court that it wants to drop its flawed challenge to Arizona’s commonsense protections for women, which are similar to those the U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld,” stated ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle on Tuesday.

“Tragically, many women turn to abortion because they feel hopeless and are unaware of the resources available to them. As many medical experts agree, significant, non-emergency medical procedures should not be performed without in-person consultation, or on a drop-in basis — let alone be performed by someone who is not a licensed physician.”

In April 2019, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued Arizona over the state’s Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws.

Specifically, the lawsuit challenged the 24-hour waiting period for an abortion, a limit on which medical professionals could perform an abortion, and a ban on doctors providing telemedicine abortions. 

In addition to being a reporter, Michael Gryboski has also had a novel released titled Memories of Lasting Shadows. For more information, click here.  

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