Arizona Abortion Providers Sue State, Claim New Law Violates First Amendment

By Al Macias
Published: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 2:07pm
Updated: Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 2:12pm

Arizona abortion providers asked a federal judge Thursday to block part of recently passed anti-abortion legislation. The law would require doctors to tell women they can reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion. 

Planned Parenthood and Star Family Planning are suing the state, arguing the new law violates abortion providers' First Amendment rights by forcing them to repeat a state-mandated message against their medical judgment.

Proponents of the law say doctors can give a woman the drug progesterone to stop an abortion after she has taken the first of two medications needed to complete the procedure. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said there is no medically accepted evidence that a drug-induced abortion can be reversed.

Bryan Howard is with Planned Parenthood of Arizona.

"The measure we are challenging today writes junk science into law and forces doctors — our doctors — and others in Arizona to lie to patients," he said.

Andrew Beck is with the American Civil Liberties Union which filed the suit.

"Forcing doctors to make these statements is just bad medicine and harmful to women," Beck said.

The Center for Arizona Policy, the conservative organization that pushed the law, denounced the lawsuit. In a statement a spokesman said women who change their minds during the chemical abortion procedure should not lose their baby because Planned Parenthood withheld potentially life-saving facts.

The law is set to take effect in July.