In a victory for Arizona women, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has blocked the state’s restrictions on medication abortion.

The Ninth Circuit issued a temporary injunction late Tuesday preventing Arizona from enforcing new regulations which would have prevented access to medication abortion after seven weeks and forced doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering the medication.

“The appeals court has recognized that Arizona women should not be denied access to critical reproductive care while yet another clearly unconstitutional attack on their health and rights makes it way through the courts,” said David Brown, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law with Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the Tucson Women’s Center.

The two clinics filed their legal challenge after the Arizona Department of Health Services issued regulations implementing the medication abortion restrictions that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law in 2012. A federal district court, however, refused to block enforcement of the regulations pending the final outcome of the case, meaning that the restrictions would have taken effect on April 1. The clinics filed an emergency appeal of that decision to the Ninth Circuit. The appeals court ruling will remain in effect until the final outcome of the case.

Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 4/9/14; RH Reality Check 4/9/14, 3/5/14; Feminist Newswire 4/1/14

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