Court Appears Poised Keep Blocking Abortion Rules

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 04:34 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

A federal appeals court appeared poised Tuesday to continue blocking the nation's strictest restrictions on the use of abortion drugs, questioning the constitutionality of the Arizona rules a month after putting them on hold.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from the state and Planned Parenthood Arizona, which sued to stop the rules from taking effect. The court issued an injunction in April, saying women likely would suffer irreparable harm if the restrictions were allowed to take effect. Arizona argued that the rules aim to safeguard women and follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

The regulations ban women from taking the most common abortion-inducing drug — RU-486 — after the seventh week of pregnancy. Women had been allowed to take the abortion pill through nine weeks of pregnancy.

The rules also require that the drug be administered only at the FDA-approved dosage and that both doses be taken at a clinic. The usual dosage is lower and now usually taken at home, decreasing the cost and chance of complications.

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood argued for to keep the injunction in place while its lawsuit was pending. Two of three judges expressed a willingness to continue the ban while questioning the constitutionality of the rules enacted by the Arizona Legislature.

"One could look at this legislation as pretextual and an effort to flat out reduce the number of abortions by any means," Judge Susan Graber said. "That's one concern I have."

Arizona Solicitor General Robert Ellman denied the claim and argued the rules were put in place to protect women's health.

"The primary, if not the sole purpose, of this legislation is maternal health," Ellman argued. Ellman said the rules follow FDA guidelines. Furthermore, he argued that alternative types of abortions remain available in Arizona.

Judge William Fletcher pointed out that 8 percent of women who follow the FDA guidelines require follow-up surgical procedures, while that rate falls to 2 percent for women who take the drugs at lower doses. Most doctors prescribe lower doses than the FDA recommends.

Planned Parenthood lawyer Alice Chapman called the new requirement an "undue burden" for many women, especially those who live in Northern Arizona and those who live more than 100 miles from the nearest clinic. She also said the rules affect women who have an aversion to surgical abortions but are in their eighth and ninth weeks of pregnancy.

Chapman said the new rules are "less effective, much more expensive and expose women to unnecessary side effects."

The regulations were released in January by state health officials. The Arizona Legislature approved the rules in 2012, and they took effect for one day in April.

The 9th Circuit will issue a written ruling in the coming weeks.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Eric Holder: End Secrecy Surrounding Execution Drugs

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 07:58 AM

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on states to be more transparent about the drug cocktails used in execution . . .

'Rosewater': Jon Stewart's Political Drama Slated for November Release

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 07:26 AM

"Rosewater," Jon Stewart's political drama about real-life journalist Maziar Bahari, is slated to make its debut in U.S. . . .

Ex-Romney Adviser: Americans Don't Appreciate Foreign Policy

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 21:00 PM

Americans are woefully underinformed on the need for strong foreign policy, but that doesn't mean their leaders should a . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved