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Judge Puts New Arizona Abortion Pill Restrictions on Hold

Planned Parenthood of Arizona has won a temporary victory over new state laws restricting access to mifepristone, also known as RU-486 or the “abortion pill.” The two statutes would have taken effect on July 20, requiring the pill to be administered by a doctor rather than a nurse practitioner.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama put enforcement of the laws on hold pending an August 22 hearing on a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood, which argues that the laws deny mifepristone users equal protection and violate privacy rights explicitly granted by the Arizona constitution.

“This is about women accessing basic health care that has been provided safely for over a decade by nurse practitioners and physicians assistants with no evidence, no medical evidence, that that situation needs to change,” said Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona. He added that the restrictions would make it impossible for Planned Parenthood to provide mifepristone in Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma, where its offices are staffed only by nurse practitioners.

Sources:

AZCentral.com, 7/6/2011; East Valley Tribune, 6/30/2011

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