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Appellate court blocks state rule on medication abortions

abortion gavelThe 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Planned Parenthood of Arizona today and ordered a lower court to put a temporary hold on a state rule requiring doctors to use federal standards in administering abortion medication.

The rule in question requires that medication abortions be done under standards approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The rule, which was to take effect April 1, was mandated by the Legislature in 2012 and meant to protect the health of women.

The federal lawsuit, filed by Planned Parenthood and a Tucson clinic owner, alleges the regulation will make abortions involving medication more dangerous and become an obstacle to women by forcing them take larger doses of the pill and make more trips to the clinic.

The three-judge panel agreed.

“The panel held that plaintiffs introduced uncontroverted evidence that the Arizona law substantially burdened women’s access to abortion services, and Arizona introduced no evidence that the law advanced in any way Arizona’s interest in women’s health,” Judge William Fletcher wrote in the unanimous decision.

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