Arizona Law Leads to Fewer Abortions

CitizenLink 13 Oct 2011
A newly enacted Arizona law appears to be having an immediate — and dramatic — effect on the number of abortions performed statewide. The Abortion Consent Act, passed by the Legislature in 2009, took effect shortly after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled it constitutional in a 3-0 decision on Aug. 11. The law mandates that minors seeking abortions must provide a notarized parental signature; that women be provided with full, accurate information by a doctor in person at least 24 hours before the procedure takes place; that only doctors can perform surgical abortions; and that no medical professional can be forced to perform an abortion if doing so violates his or her religious or moral beliefs. The state reported Wednesday that only 729 abortions were performed statewide in September — about 30 percent less than in August.

…Planned Parenthood of Arizona successfully sued to block the law shortly after Gov. Jan Brewer signed it in July 2009. In overturning that decision, the appellate court justices wrote: “We hold that the statutes at issue would withstand federal constitutional scrutiny, and that the Arizona Constitution — to the extent it protects abortion rights at all — offers no greater protection than the federal constitution with respect to the regulations at issue in this case.” Shortly afterward, Planned Parenthood was forced to stop offering abortions in three cities.

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