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Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue to Overturn Arizona Law

PHOTO: An Arizona law which requires doctors to tell their patients that medication abortions may be reversible is facing a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
PHOTO: An Arizona law which requires doctors to tell their patients that medication abortions may be reversible is facing a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
June 5, 2015

PHOENIX - Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights are suing to stop an Arizona law from taking effect that critics say forces doctors to lie to their patients that medication abortions may be reversible.

Dr. llana Addis, who chairs the Arizona Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said Senate Bill 1318, set to take effect next month, is based on what she calls junk science.

"The law mandates that physicians inform patients seeking an abortion about medically untested and unproven claims that medication abortions can somehow be reversed," she said, "despite widespread opposition from medical experts across the country."

Addis said the law's real danger is that some women may choose to have a medication abortion because they believe it can be reversed based on what their doctor is legally required to tell them. She said the claim is medically unproven.

David Brown, a staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the lawsuit filed in federal court is also about defending the First Amendment rights of doctors, in respect to what they say to their patients.

"That is a right that physicians don't lose just because they are providing their patients with safe and legal abortion care," he said. "So we're going to be urging the court to affirm that physicians' First Amendment right enables them not to have to lie to their patients."

The ACLU reports that in the first quarter of this year, more than 300 abortion restrictions were introduced in 43 states.

The text of SB 1318 is online at azleg.gov. The text of the lawsuit is at ppfa.pr.optout.com.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ