Arizona Pro-Life Groups, Legislators Seek to Protect Comprehensive Abortion Law
by Steven Ertelt
September 22, 2009
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — Two Arizona legislators together with pro-life physicians and organizations filed motions Tuesday through their attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund to support an Arizona abortion law. They want to intervene to protect the laws limiting abortions that Planned Parenthood wants to overturn.
Last week, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn a slate of new pro-life laws that Gov. Jan Brewer signed in July.
The measures ban partial-birth abortions, protect health care providers and give women information about abortion’s problems.
Everyone deserves full and accurate information before undergoing any medical procedure," ADF senior legal counsel Steven Aden told LifeNews.com.
These lawsuits are more about protecting bottom lines than protecting womens rights," he said. "If Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights really cared about womens rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of challenging these laws in court."
Aden says he expects to do well in court when challenging the lawsuit.
"These types of protections have been repeatedly upheld and are overwhelmingly supported by the public," he said.
Aden complained that Planned Parenthood is challenging a law approved by the same state government that it receives tax-funding from each year.
According to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service last year, Planned Parenthood of Arizona alone brought in revenues of more than $12 million in fiscal year 2006-07.
Those seeking to intervene include bill sponsors Sen. Linda Gray and Rep. Nancy Barto and the Center for Arizona Policy, a pro-life group.
Women, like anyone else considering any other medical procedure, deserve information about the abortion procedure, its risks and alternatives, as well as an in-person consultation with a doctor, said CAP president Cathi Herrod.
She told LifeNews.com: "If the abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights really cared about womens rights, they’d welcome this law to allow women to make fully informed choices instead of challenging it in court.
The parties seeking to intervene in the lawsuit also support the laws rights of conscience provisions. No one should be forced to participate in or facilitate an abortion that violates their conscience, Herrod explained.
The first measure Brewer signed , HB 2400, creates a state ban on partial birth abortions so local prosecutors can make sure the federal partial-birth abortion ban can be better enforced.
The second bill, HB 2564, would protect women, parents, children, and the civil rights of health care providers.
That legislation calls for informed consent before abortions along with a 24-hour waiting period, parental consent requirements, a prohibition on non-doctors doing surgical abortions, and rights of conscience for all health care providers, including pharmacists, on abortion and abortion drugs.
Brewer also signed SB 1175, a bill to ban non-physicians from doing abortions in the state — important because a nurse at Planned Parenthood has been putting women’s health at risk by doing surgical abortions.
Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona said the pro-woman, pro-life laws "puts the health and well being of more than half of our states residents at risk by restricting womens access to comprehensive care" and "we believe the regulations should not be put into place until the court rules on the legality of this onerous law.
The new laws are scheduled to take effect on September 30 unless a judge issues the injunction Planned Parenthood seeks.
The motion to intervene in the state case, Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Goddard, was filed in the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County.
The motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit, Tucson Womens Center v. Arizona Medical Board, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
Attorneys with the BioEthics Defense Fund, Life Legal Defense Foundation, and Center for Arizona Policy are serving as co-counsel.
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