Judge refuses to block Arizona abortion drug rules - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Judge refuses to block Arizona abortion drug rules

Posted: Updated:
  • Judge refuses to block Arizona abortion drug rulesMore>>

  • Planned Parenthood appeals over abortion rules

    Planned Parenthood appeals over abortion rules

    Planned Parenthood Arizona filed an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge refused to temporarily block the nation's most stringent restrictions on the use of abortion drugs.
    Planned Parenthood Arizona filed an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge refused to temporarily block the nation's most stringent restrictions on the use of abortion drugs.
  • Arizona HeadlinesMore>>

  • Late night monsoon storm brings downpour to downtown

    Late night monsoon storm brings downpour to downtown

    Mother nature was busy Thursday evening bringing a thunderstorm with strong winds and rain to the west valley and a torrent of rain just before midnight to downtown.In the west valley wind is suspected as being the cause of several R/V's to overturn. 
    Mother nature was busy Thursday evening bringing a thunderstorm with strong winds and rain to the west valley and a torrent of rain just before midnight to downtown.In the west valley wind is suspected as being the cause of several R/V's to overturn. 
  • Pickup truck crashes into east valley canal

    Pickup truck crashes into east valley canal

    Emergency crews responded to a truck into a canal near Ellsworth Elliot Thursday evening.First responders found the vehicle with it's lights on in the canal. Crews checked inside the vehicle and the area but did not locate any driver or passengers of the truck.
    Emergency crews responded to a truck into a canal near Ellsworth Elliot Thursday evening.First responders found the vehicle with it's lights on in the canal. Crews checked inside the vehicle and the area but did not locate any driver or passengers of the truck.
  • Wind knocks over several RV's near I-10 & Watson

    Wind knocks over several RV's near I-10 & Watson

    Rescue crews are working to rescue people who were trapped in their recreational vehicles near I-10 Watson during a monsoon storm.We have a crew headed to the scene and will bring you the latest updates on this developing story at www.myfoxphoenix.com
    Rescue crews are working to rescue people who were trapped in their recreational vehicles near I-10 Watson during a monsoon storm.We have a crew headed to the scene and will bring you the latest updates on this developing story at www.myfoxphoenix.com
PHOENIX –  A federal judge on Monday refused to block new Arizona rules limiting the use of the most common abortion drugs, handing a victory to conservatives in a lawsuit over restrictions that are the most stringent in the nation.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge David C. Bury means the new restrictions will take effect Tuesday.

The rules ban pill-induced abortions after seven weeks of pregnancy, compared with the current nine-week restriction.

Bury made his ruling in response to a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood Arizona and the private abortion clinic Tucson Women's Center, who say the rules severely infringe on a woman's ability to have an abortion. He was asked to grant an injunction that would have blocked the rules from taking effect.

The rules were released in January by the Arizona Department of Health Services. They ban women from taking the most common abortion-inducing drug — RU-486 — after the seventh week of pregnancy. Existing rules allow women to take the abortion pill through nine weeks of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood estimates that 800 women would have had to get surgical abortions in 2012 if the rules were in effect then. An attorney for the organization also told the judge Wednesday that the new rules could force its Flagstaff abortion clinic to suspend operations.

In his ruling, the judge acknowledged that the new rules will make it more difficult for some women in Arizona, especially those in the northern part of the state, to get abortions as they have to travel farther and make more trips to clinics. But he said they aren't obstacles big enough to show that the rules should be blocked.

"The court finds that the injunction is not in the public interest," he said.

Attorney Mike Tyron, arguing the case for the state, described the rules as a simple shift in abortion regulations that amount to a minor inconvenience for women — and are not the heavy-handed change that opponents make them out to be.

The Arizona Legislature in the past few years has approved a number of aggressive anti-abortion measures. A House of Representatives-approved bill that is being considered by the Senate would allow for surprise, warrantless inspections of abortion clinics. Proponents of the bill say it protects women from clinics that are not up to health standards. Opponents say it puts women at risk and violates their privacy.

The Arizona rules limit RU-486 to use under the Food and Drug Administration drug label approved in 2000, which uses a much higher dosage. That dosage is no longer routinely followed because doctors have found much lower dosages are just as effective when combined with a second drug.

The rules require that the drug be administered only at the FDA-approved dosage no later than seven weeks into a pregnancy instead of nine weeks, and that both doses be taken at the clinic. The usual dose is lower and now usually taken at home, decreasing the cost and chance of complications.

Ohio and Texas have similar laws requiring the use of only FDA-approved protocols for drug-abortions that have been upheld by federal courts, although those states have exemptions for women whose life is endangered, who have severe health problems or for whom surgical abortion would not be appropriate. Arizona's law doesn't allow for exemptions, making them the most stringent in the country. State courts in Oklahoma and North Dakota have blocked similar rules.

The Center for Arizona Policy, a powerful anti-abortion group that pushed the 2012 law, has pushed a series of anti-abortion bills. Two of those, a ban on Medicaid money for any of Planned Parenthood nonabortion services and a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, have been blocked by federal courts.

"When Planned Parenthood loses, women win," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. "It's common-sense regulations protecting the health and safety of women considering an abortion."

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood, says it will continue to challenge the rules in court.

"This law serves no purpose other than to prevent Arizona women from using a safe alternative to surgical abortion and force their doctors to follow and outdated, riskier, and less effective method. This is what happens when politicians, not doctors, practice medicine," said attorney David Brown.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices