FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX--- Planned Parenthood Arizona will not be asking the Arizona Supreme Court to reconsider the August 11 opinion issued by the Arizona Court of Appeals in Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc. v. American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, et al. The litigation challenged 2009 regulations that were designed to restrict women’s ability to access safe, legal reproductive health care.
“Given the current dire economic environment so many of our patients face, paired with a legislature that has already reduced health care access, our organization decided it was best to focus all of our energies on meeting women’s health care needs today. Now, more than ever, Arizona women and families need accessible, affordable birth control and other preventive services so they are not victimized by these politically motivated barriers,” says Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona.
Providing a vital prevention service to the women and families of Arizona is more important at the moment than diverting further energy to a courtroom battle. Here is a list of the new restrictions women will encounter, starting September 12:
- Health care professionals will now be permitted to deny women access to health care, including birth control at the pharmacy and emergency contraception in the ER, if the health care professional objects to the requested care based on his or her personal beliefs.
- Women will be required to have an in-person appointment with a physician to listen to a state mandated script of information 24 hours before an abortion appointment, regardless of the distance women will have to travel for the 15 minute meeting.
- Trained, experienced nurse practitioners are banned from providing early surgical abortion. This is in addition to a 2011 ban on nurse practitioners dispensing abortion-by-pill (Planned Parenthood continues to challenge this restriction in a separate lawsuit).
- Parent or guardian signatures on consent forms for abortion patients under 18 years old will now have to be notarized at a bank or business that offers notarization services.
In its lawsuit, Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of provisions introduced in House Bill 2564 in 2009. The bill was passed by the Arizona legislature and signed into law by Governor Brewer and included restrictions on health access with government intruding on the private health care decisions women make with their families and doctors. All provisions of the 2009 law will go into effect on September 12 because Planned Parenthood is not at this time asking the Arizona Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals decision that overturned the injunction.
“Given that we know these regulations will impede access to women’s health care across the state, we hope that politicians will prioritize women’s health and reverse these restrictions,” says Howard.
Planned Parenthood continues to believe that private health care decisions – including pregnancy-related decisions – are protected from irrational and invasive political barriers under Article 2, Section 8 of the Arizona Constitution, which states that, “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” Planned Parenthood also believes that the Arizona Constitution protects against singling out pregnancy-related decisions and treating them differently from other health care decisions.
Planned Parenthood Arizona will continue to pursue a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a separate 2011 law that limits access to medication abortion.
For more information on Planned Parenthood Arizona and its prevention services or to make an appointment, Arizonans can go online at ppaz.org or call toll-free 855.207.PLAN (7526).
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In the community for 76 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 in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott Valley and Yuma. For more information, please visit www.ppaz.org.