Arizona: Judge Puts Abortion Drug Safety Rules on Hold

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2011   |   12:13PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

An Arizona judge, at the request of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, put on hold important health and safety rules the state legislature approved to protect women using the dangerous abortion drug RU 486.

Judge Richard Gama of Maricopa County Superior Court told attorneys for the abortion giant and the state that he would grant a temporary injunction preventing the enforcement of the new pro-life law while the Planned Parenthood challenge moves forward. Judge Gama plans an August 22 hearing on the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood Arizona filed last week over the laws slated to take effect on July 20.

The lawsuit is similar to another case currently pending in state appeals court concerning a slate of pro-life laws the legislature approved to stop abortions and protect women in other instances and, an AP report indicates Planned Parenthood attorneys told the judge they wanted the new law on hold while that case continues as well.

The abortion drug is responsible for the deaths of dozens of women worldwide, including several in the United States alone, and it has injured at least 1,100 women in the United States alone as of 2006 figures from the Food and Drug Administration. Yet, the abortion business complains the bills would make abortions tougher to get in Arizona and would prohibit non-physicians from giving women the abortion drug — something the FDA recommends be limited to a licensed doctor.

Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, a pro-life group, commented on the impending lawsuit.

“This suit is an outrageous affront to the women of Arizona. The nation’s largest abortion provider is proving once again that they are more concerned with selling abortions than protecting vulnerable women with crisis pregnancies.”

Herrod says the laws are critical for protecting women — because while the abortion drug destroys the life of an unborn child as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy, it also kills and injures the women who use it.

“Medication abortions are not a safer alternative to surgical abortions, and clinics dispensing abortion medication should be properly licensed and equipped to handle complications. Planned Parenthood is challenging these basic provisions of HB 2416,” Herrod said. “The Arizona Legislature considered the many medical risks of medication abortion in passing HB 2416 and SB 1030.”

Dr. Allen Sawyer, an experienced and respected Arizona OBGYN, submitted written testimony as legislators considered the bills, indicating women are at a ten times greater risk of death from infection from medication abortions than surgical abortions.

Herrod adds: “The pill’s own FDA label states that nearly all women who take the medication will experience an adverse reaction, and at least eight women have died from complications of medication abortion. Based on all of the medical evidence, the Legislature acted within its constitutional authority to protect the health and safety of Arizonans.”

In their lawsuit, Planned Parenthood also says it is “medically inappropriate” to provide women with a physical examination before an abortion, keep intravenous drugs available in case of an emergency, and give women a follow up phone call twenty-four hours after taking the abortion pill. Planned Parenthood claims that they will have to shut down rather than offer women the same standard of care that they receive for every other medical procedure.

Herrod responds: “These are unconscionable examples of their “quantity over quality” business model.Arizona women deserve better, and Center for Arizona Policy is committed to seeing these important health and safety standards enforced.”