Arizona Court Holding Hearing on Pro-Life Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2011   |   3:49PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

The Arizona Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Horne, a case the abortion business filed which challenges key aspects of the 2009 Abortion Consent Act.

The law is a pro-life measure Governor Jan Brewer signed which protects the health and safety of women and their preborn children and has proven to reduce abortions in other states by giving women information they don’t normally receive from an abortion center telling them of the risks associated with and alternatives to abortion. Planned Parenthood sued the state soon after its signing and a Superior Court judge blocked the law from taking effect while the case moves forward.

The Center for Arizona Policy, a statewide pro-life group, drafted the Abortion Consent Act and is a part of the legal team – which includes Alliance Defense Fund, Bioethics Defense Fund, the Bioethics Defense Fund, and Life Legal Defense Fund – defending the constitutionality of the law. The law has several other pro-life provisions the pro-life organizations support.

CAP informed today about the lawsuit and said it is needed to ensure an abortion business is required to get a notarized parental signature before an abortion can be performed on a minor child, to ensure women will be provided with full and accurate information at least 24 hours before an abortion, and to protect medical professionals from being forced to perform abortions even if it contradicts with their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs. The law also makes it so non-doctors are not allowed to do abortions in Arizona.

Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden is arguing in favor of lifting the order that stalled the Arizona Abortion Consent Act.

“If Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of going to court to tear them down,” said Aden. “The protection of women should not be on hold while the nation’s largest abortion purveyor ties things up in court.”

“If abortionists 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,” Aden said.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld 24-hour waiting periods and, 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.  An additional poll found that 87 percent of Americans believe health care workers should not be forced to participate in abortions.

Deborah Sheasby of the Center for Arizona Policy and Nik Nikas of the Bioethics Defense Fund, co-counsel and two of more than 2,000 attorneys in the ADF alliance, will also be attending the hearing. The notice of appeal in the case, Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Horne, was filed on behalf of bill sponsors Sen. Linda Gray and Rep. (now Sen.) Nancy Barto, doctors, and numerous organizations that wish to defend what they call the common-sense protections offered by the law.

A Tucson abortion facility represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based pro-abortion law firm, dropped a federal lawsuit against the law. The federal case, Tucson Women’s Center v. Arizona Medical Board, was voluntarily dismissed from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona Friday and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.