Appeals court upholds Arizona abortion restrictions
The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in a unanimous 3 to 0 decision Thursday that abortion restrictions signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2009 do not impose an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to choose, according to the Associated Press.
The restrictions forbid anyone but a licensed physician from surgically terminating a pregnancy and require women to get so-called “informed consent” from the doctor who will perform the abortion at least 24 hours in advance.
It also allows health care providers to refuse to perform abortions or provide contraceptives, and requires a notarized parental signature before an abortion can be performed on a minor child.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Donald Daughton put portions of the Abortion Consent Act on hold two years ago following a Planned Parenthood lawsuit. The judge claimed the restrictions could cause “irreparable harm” to women.
Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, said Thursday the restrictions “will put women in Arizona in harm’s way” if they are allowed to take effect.
“If Planned Parenthood truly cared about what’s best for women, they wouldn’t be repeatedly going to court around the nation to stop laws that allow women to make fully informed choices,” said Steven H. Aden of the conservative Christian group Alliance Defense Fund. “The court ruled rightly in this case in rejecting the arguments of the nation’s largest purveyor of abortion. The protection of women is not unconstitutional.”
Planned Parenthood is considering whether to appeal the ruling.