Arizona is putting the squeeze on Planned Parenthood and their best friend, abortion. On Thursday the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a 2009 law restricting the abortion business. The law was blocked by the lower courts’ judge Donald Daughton due to a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. Two years later and victory has been claimed for the unborn.
The reason Planned Parenthood was willing to fight a two year legal battle over this law is because it is a well crafted attack against them and the evil they espouse. The ramifications of this law taking effect would have been enormous. Planned Parenthood knew this well and they are about to feel the full brunt of this justice.
The specific mandates in the law include a provision which prohibits anyone except a licensed physician from performing a surgical abortion, one which requires a woman to have a face to face meeting with a doctor 24 hours prior to the abortion about the risks and alternative options, one mandating parent signatures for minor’s abortions, and a provision which allows any medical professional to refuse to perform an abortion, give certain contraceptives or administer the “morning after pill.” Overall, this law was a bold move by the Arizona legislature that is finally coming into play.
When it does come into play, this law will have numerous impacts to the fight against abortion. The provision which mandates that only a doctor may perform a surgical abortion and the one requiring a meeting with a doctor 24 hours prior to the abortion are poised to have the biggest splash. In Arizona there are a shortage of doctors to fill the roles mandated by the new law partly due to the unpopularity of the position and also partially because many doctors do not feel adequately trained in this area, an uncertainty that is partly due to a 1970 law prohibiting the state’s only medical school at the University of Arizona from teaching about abortion. In Flagstaff Arizona, for example, there is only one nurse practitioner who performs abortions at the local Planned Parenthood. This could mean that a woman living in this area would have to make a 4 to 5 hour drive to Phoenix for an abortion. And that is just a shortage of doctors for performing the abortions. The provision mandating the doctor-patient meetings would require much more. This job, which is currently being filled by nurses, could put the Planned Parenthood in Prescott out of business as no doctor is taking the positions needed. Since January 2009, 450 abortions have been performed at this clinic. This could all come to an end.
And this is just the change that could come about due to this one law. There is more on its way. The precedent set by the Appeals Court in this ruling is likely to have bearing on more cases regarding abortion legislation yet to be decided in Arizona. Such measures include restricting medicated abortions by requiring abortion facilities that perform them to meet the requirements previously only held to surgical abortions. Also, a new state law being challenged by Planned Parenthood would require physicians to administer medical abortions, instead of the nurse practitioners being used now. The opinion offered by Judge Peter Swann, in the unanimous decision, stated that a law cannot be struck down unless it presents “undue burden” on a woman’s right to an abortion. And by those standards and the situation which they were applied to by Judge Swann, it looks as if the precedent could stand in these pending cases. This would, yet again, deal another enormous blow to Planned Parenthood and abortion. The fight for the unborn continues to rage on, and, in Arizona at least, it looks like we have the upper ground.