Phoenix, AZ — Today, a federal district court judge concluded a challenge to a 2015 Arizona law that would have forced doctors to mislead patients by telling them that it may be possible to “reverse” a medication abortion. The parties agreed to end the case following the state legislature’s actions this past session to repeal this dangerous mandate that Governor Doug Ducey signed despite that it was contrary to all medical evidence. This follows a wave of victories for reproductive health and rights since the landmark ruling from the Supreme Court on June 27th, with courts now having blocked laws in 10 states including in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
“This reckless law was a prescription for bad medicine and government interference at its worst. This is exactly why politicians need to leave the practice of medicine to medical professionals,” said Bryan Howard, President of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “We will never stop fighting for our patients and every person’s right to accurate medical information and safe, compassionate care.”
“The repeal of this unjustified restriction is good news for women, but it shouldn’t have taken a year in court to convince Arizona politicians to keep junk science out of the exam room,” said Andrew Beck, staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “Lawmakers should recognize that Arizona women deserve high-quality medical care—not political ideology masquerading as medicine.”
“Women should never be force-fed lies and misinformation about their health in order to advance a political agenda,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Junk science has no place in medicine and we are confident these unconstitutional restrictions on safe and legal abortion will continue to crumble across the country.”
Because there is no credible, medically accepted evidence that a medication abortion can be reversed, this law is opposed by medical experts, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists(ACOG). Dr. Ilana Addis and Dr. Julie Kwatra, chairwoman and legislative chair of the Arizona Section of ACOG respectively, called the Arizona law “bad medicine” and “tantamount to quackery.”If it had gone into effect, this law would have forced doctors to provide all patients seeking a safe, legal abortion — even patients who cannot have a medication abortion or who have chosen a surgical procedure — with medically inaccurate and misleading information that could be harmful to their health.
The plaintiffs in this case — Planned Parenthood Arizona, Eric Reuss, M.D., Paul A. Isaacson, M.D., Desert Star Family Planning, and DeShawn Taylor, M.D. — are represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Arizona, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA), and Squire Patton Boggs.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
August 23, 2016