Arizona Pro-Life Laws Limiting Abortions Receive Court Hearing on Friday

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 4, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arizona Pro-Life Laws Limiting Abortions Receive Court Hearing on Friday

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 4
, 2010

Phoenix, AZ ( — A slate of pro-life laws that would have a significant effect on limiting the number of abortions in Arizona get a court hearing on Friday. The court will hear a lawsuit the Planned Parenthood abortion business filed seeking to overturn the laws signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

Deborah Sheasby, legal counsel with the Center for Arizona Policy and an Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney, will represent pro-life advocates wanting to help defend the legislation.

The court granted ADF and CAP permission to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, but they are appealing the court’s decision to deny doctors, several organizations, and the bill’s sponsors the ability to intervene in the lawsuit to defend the laws.

Friday’s hearing concerns the state’s motion to dismiss a portion of the lawsuit as well as a motion to intervene filed by the Arizona speaker of the House, who also wishes to defend the laws.

“Everyone deserves full and accurate information before undergoing any medical procedure,” Sheasby told “These types of protections have been repeatedly upheld and are overwhelmingly supported by the public.”

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden also talked about the lawsuit.

“If Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of challenging these laws in court,” he told “Planned Parenthood’s suit is more about protecting its ‘bottom line’ than women’s rights.”

In September, the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County granted Planned Parenthood’s preliminary injunction to block the laws while the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Goddard, moves forward.

In separate federal lawsuit, ADF and CAP attorneys, together with co-counsel from the Bioethics Defense Fund, successfully intervened on behalf of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers of Greater Phoenix and the Arizona Catholic Conference to defend provisions of the law being challenged by a Tucson abortion clinic.

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 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.

The Planned Parenthood lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the provisions in the omnibus anti-abortion law that it claims "threatens women’s access to health care in Arizona."

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 state’s residents at risk by restricting women’s 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.”

Cathi Herrod, the president of the Center for Arizona Policy, one of the pro-life groups that lobbied for the omnibus measure, emailed about the lawsuit.

“The Arizona abortion laws challenged today protect women, children, parents, and the civil rights of health care workers," she said. “The law simply clarifies and updates current Arizona abortion law to remedy real-world problems. I am fully confident that the law will be upheld in state court as each measure meets constitutional standards."

The new laws are scheduled to take effect on September 30 unless a judge issues the injunction Planned Parenthood seeks.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld 24-hour waiting periods.

In a Harris poll, 88 percent of adults said they support laws which require abortion providers to inform mothers of possible health risks and of abortion alternatives, 95 percent favor laws ensuring that abortions be performed only by licensed physicians, and 73 percent support laws requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion.

Related web sites:
Center for Arizona Policy –

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