Arizona Pro-Life Law Protecting Women From Abortion Drug Heads to the Supreme Court

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Sep 5, 2014   |   1:26PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

The abortion industry, specifically Planned Parenthood, is infamous for failing to follow protocol. So when RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug that was approved during the Clinton administration, caused over 1,000 women harm and killed nineteen, many states began to revise their laws.

supremecourt5bIn 2012, the Arizona legislature mandated that women take both doses of the dangerous drug, mifepristone and prostaglandin, at an abortion facility; prohibited the drug from being administered after the 7th week of pregnancy; and required abortion facilities to only give women the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approved dosage. Prior to the legislation, women were given RU-486 in two doses; the first dose was taken at an abortion facility and then they were sent home to take the second part of the abortion regimen.

Additionally, before the legislation, women could take RU-486 up until the 9th week of pregnancy. Pro-life advocates agreed that these new regulations would help protect women from the dangerous side effects of the RU-486 abortion, such as incomplete abortion, uterine hemorrhage and excessive bleeding.

However, Planned Parenthood sued to stop the regulations because they claimed they placed undue burden on women. In response to the suit, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put the regulations on hold by granting a temporary injunction. Now, Arizona’s top attorney, Tom Horne, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case. Horne believes Planned Parenthood doesn’t have enough evidence to back their claims.

The Arizona Central Reports:

Horne has said Planned Parenthood did not have enough evidence to show the restrictions were detrimental, and that the organization cannot argue that they would place an undue burden on women’s right to abortion. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling granting a temporary injunction that women would likely suffer irreparable harm if the rules were allowed to take effect.

In a July 21 court filing asking the appellate court to hold off on the trial in Tucson, attorneys for Arizona argued that it’s likely the nation’s top court will overturn the appellate court’s stay on the rules and that it makes more sense to go there first.

Horne argues in the Supreme Court petition that the lower court incorrectly interpreted the law when it found the rules would create an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. He says that the rules wouldn’t stop women from having medication-induced abortions and that surgical ones are more common in Arizona anyway.

In 2013, Dr. Randy O’Bannon explained the risks involved in a RU-486 abortion:

First-trimester surgical abortions are completed in a matter of minutes. But abortions using drugs such RU-486 (mifepristone) and the second drug (a prostaglandin) take days, maybe a week or more. They employ at least two drugs, are supposed to involve three trips to the doctor’s office over a two week period, and typically come with a great deal of pain, bleeding, and a host of other unpleasant side effects. There is a significant chance they will not work. Nineteen women taking it have ended up dead and over 600 have ended up in the hospital.

RU-486 works by blocking the effect of progesterone, the pregnancy hormone that signals the woman’s body that she is pregnant and makes sure her reproductive system is set to welcome and nurture the young child. With that signal stymied, the baby’s life support system shuts down. The baby starves to death, and the woman’s body, failing to recognize the child’s presence, initiates the shedding of the rich nutrient lining of the uterus the way it does during the normal menstrual process when there is no baby present.

By itself, though, RU486 is not always powerful enough to expel the tiny corpse. A second drug, a prostaglandin such as misoprostol, is given to stimulate powerful uterine contractions to expel the child and complete the abortion. It is intensely painful and often very bloody.

Few women realize that a woman loses more blood from a chemical abortion than a surgical one. And the pain and cramping can go on for hours, and the bleeding can go on for weeks. Side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are often part of the package.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the abortion drug accounts for 16.5 percent of all abortions. As a previous LifeNews article reported, about 198,000 abortions take place each year with the drug, or 16,500 each month, and the RU 486 drug has claimed the lives of approximately 462,000 unborn children in the 28 months since the FDA released its April 2011 estimate — for a total of 1,982,000 abortions.