Circuit Court Strikes Down Arizona Anti-Abortion Bill

An Arizona bill intended to strip Medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that provide abortions was defeated in court last week.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

House Bill 2800 was passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2012, but Planned Parenthoodchallenged it before it could be enforced. The bill would have prevented low-income Medicaid recipients from receiving coverage for family planning services, annual exams, and cancer screenings from clinics that also provide abortions.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that the bill violates a federal Medicaid Act requirement that gives patients the freedom to choose their healthcare providers. Anti-choice leaders can either appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or reintroduce the legislation at the state level in 2014.

“This is a victory for the thousands of low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical- cancer screenings, birth control and other basic health care,” Planned Parenthood Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard said in a statement.

In May, the same court overturned a 2012 state law that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This past legislative session was the first in more than a decade in which lawmakers failed to pass an abortion-related measure.

Media Resources: Los Angeles Times, 8/22/2013; AZ Central, 8/22/2013

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