Medical experts oppose the law that forces doctors to tell patients medication abortion can be reversed – junk science does not belong in Arizona’s doctor’s offices
PHOENIX – Several Arizona health care providers, including Planned Parenthood Arizona, filed a new lawsuit in federal court today, challenging Senate Bill 1318. The recently passed law forces doctors to mislead their patients and tell them that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion. This misleading law prevents physicians from providing medical care based on the best evidence and research available, as well as the highly trained judgment on which patients rely.
With no credible, medically accepted evidence that medication abortion can be reversed, this law is opposed by medical experts, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Ilana Addis, M.D., chairwoman of the Arizona Section of ACOG, and Julie Kwatra, M.D., legislative chair of the Arizona Section of ACOG, both called the Arizona law, “bad medicine” and “tantamount to quackery.”
“As a member of the medical community, we are asking the court to stop this dangerous law from going into effect,” says Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “Our physicians, nurses and clinicians work everyday to provide the best support, information and care possible to patients.”
“If this law goes into effect, physicians will be forced to provide patients with information that is not based in science and could put a woman’s health and safety at risk,” says Jodi Liggett, Public Policy Director, Planned Parenthood Arizona. “This is not informed consent, it is the state-mandated promotion of junk science.”
Women in the United States have been safely and legally using medication abortion for over a decade, with approximately half of Arizona women choosing medication abortion to end their pregnancy.
A recent national poll found that despite Americans’ complicated feelings about abortion, nearly nine in 10 (87 percent) want a woman’s abortion experience to be informed by medically accurate information.
“Arizonans should be able to trust their physicians to provide them with information based on the best medicine possible,” says Howard. “This law violates the basic premise of medical best practices and preys on the trust that exists between a patient and her physician.”
The plaintiffs in this case: Planned Parenthood Arizona, Desert Star Family Planning, DeShawn Taylor, M.D., Eric Reuss, M.D., Paul A. Isaacson, M.D.. They are represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU Arizona, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Lawrence Rosenfeld of Squire Patton Boggs.
For the last several years, Arizona has enacted numerous restrictions on safe, legal abortion and other reproductive health care, several of which have been blocked by the courts. This includes restrictions on medication abortion, which the Ninth Circuit preliminarily blocked in June 2014, a decision the United States Supreme Court refused to review in December 2014. The law remains blocked while the legal challenge continues. Similarly, the state’s ban on abortion at 20 weeks was declared unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review in January 2014. An effort to exclude Planned Parenthood health centers from providing cancer screenings, birth control, and other care to their patients through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) was also struck down by the Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review in February 2014.
In the community for 80 years, Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. The organization provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 90,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org.