Planned Parenthood asks Arizona federal judge for injunction

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is asking US federal District Judge David C. Bury to grant an injunction against a new Arizona abortion law. On Wednesday Planned Parenthood and Arizona attorney Mike Tryon were in court to present their arguments.

The law passed in 2012 would take effect on April 1. According to Planned Parenthood, if the law takes effect, it will prevent some women from having an abortion. The Arizona state Attorney General's Office states it is only regulating one form of abortion.

Abortions are usually medical abortions, meaning medication is taken to induce abortion. The new law would only allow use of abortion medication just as approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or specified by the product label. It would also require they administer the medication before seven weeks into the pregnancy. Previous cut off time was set at nine weeks. It would also require the medication be administered at the abortion facility. Planned Parenthood says requiring administration at the facility is a problem particularly for those outside of cities, as the medication is administered over several days.

Medical abortions commonly combine two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. These two drugs are taken together. Doctors don't usually give them at the "on-label" dosage. For abortions misoprostol is given at a higher amount than the label says. Planned Parenthood says when it is given at the lower level the abortions may be unsuccessful and require surgery, putting the woman at additional risk. The other drug mifepristone has the opposite problem. The FDA has not updated their approval since 2000. The FDA approval is for a larger dose. Most doctors use the two together. They have found that when the two are combined they are just as effective as mifepristone alone, at the higher dose. Planned Parenthood says the combination of the two is the safest way to have an abortion.

The state says this law is part of their responsibility to protect public health.

The Judge is expected to rule before April 1, when the law would take effect.