Thank God People In Arizona Are Fighting This Law That’s Trying To Limit The Use Of Abortion Drugs

shutterstock_151890869__1394137191_142.196.167.223Two women’s healthcare providers in Arizona have been forced to file a federal lawsuit because of new regulations that would severely limit a woman’s access to RU-486, the most popular abortion-inducing drug in the state. Arizona refuses to accept that existing laws support a woman’s right to choice – and is taking unconstitutional measures to change that.

From Reuters:

The FDA has approved RU-486, the so-called “abortion pill,” for use within seven weeks’ gestation. Doctors who have prescribed it later than that have made an off-label use which is not be allowed under Arizona’s law.

At issue in the case is a physician’s discretion to go “off-label” and use the drug as the doctor believes would be best for a woman seeking to end her pregnancy.

It seems all of these politicians should have followed their true passion – to be a gynecologist. It’s not enough that a doctor has deemed this course of action safe and best – lawmakers need to put in their two cents of course. Stay in your lane, guys.

“Arizona politicians have imposed restrictions that go against years of scientific research and doctors’ practical experience in yet another effort to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of two groups representing the plaintiffs in the suit.

The lawsuit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Phoenix on behalf of Planned Parenthood Arizona and Tuscon Women’s Center.

The restrictions on the drug were part of a law aiming to limit abortions in Arizona that was struck down by a federal court. The law was struck down, but the restrictions have remained intact. The Arizona House of Representatives also approved legislation that would pave the way for unannounced inspections of abortion clinics. There is literally nothing else to do in Arizona except worry about a women’s right to control her own reproduction, apparently.

Jezebel points out:

“Interesting side note—according to The New York Times, the unannounced inspection bill was written by the same Christian organization (The Center for Arizona Policy) that was one of the backers of the anti-gay bill that would have allowed businesses to cite “religious freedom” in order to refuse services to gay patrons.

It’s really scary that one religious group can affect so much change in a state like Arizona. Thanks to groups like Planned Parenthood who are willing to be vocal advocates – and stand up to unconstitutional actions that would severely hinder a woman’s right to choice.

(photo: Guzel Studio/ Shutterstock)

Be Sociable, Share!
You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
Be Sociable, Share!
  • Alex Lee

    Closing clinics. Limiting access to medications. These steps make getting an abortion more difficult. But what have abortion-opponents done to reduce the *NEED* for abortion?

    These measures just send women off on their own, across borders, to get questionable drugs from foreign sources without a doctor’s guidance. They end up not knowing what they’re taking or how much they’re supposed to take. Others try homeopathic or alternative herbs to end their pregnancies – mostly fueled from anecdotal evidence or online hearsay. Still others try dilating their cervices themselves…(OMG Google is NOT your friend here) (fast-forward to around 8:49 for Amy Hagstrom Miller’s interview on Rachel Maddow from 3/5/14)

    I know they’re working to make abortion not-an-option. I just don’t see a humane alternative if that truly comes to pass.

    • Crusty Socks

      What can abortion-opponents do to stop unwanted pregnancies?

    • pixie

      Increase access to affordable, effective birth control. Offer good, informative sex ed. Basically things that they’re against anyways.

    • Crusty Socks

      Wait, I thought we had these things…

      (BTW, I’m not some anti-choice whacko… I’m just asking)

    • pixie

      I know you’re not, crusty, don’t worry. :P

      And I am speaking as a Canadian whose knowledge is based a lot on what I’ve read here and on other sources online (credible news sources and anecdotal), but while birth control and sex ed exist, it’s not an equal distribution across the country as to quality, availability, and affordability.

    • Crusty Socks

      I believe in personal responsibility and learning to take care of yourself, and not relying on others. It’s hard for me to reconcile these two things for me and always has been.

      I guess the question that remains unresolved for me is, as a society, have we concluded that abortion is a necessary “evil” or is abortion simply nothing more than a common, standard, typical elective medical procedure for women?

      (Obviously, cases of life of the mother being in jeopardy, rape, incest, etc. those are no brainers.)

    • pixie

      I’m not disagreeing with you, but I think, in order to be able to take personal responsibility of yourself, especially in terms of reproductive health, the education should be made readily available and taught in schools and that easily affordable options should be available to drastically decrease the chance of accidental pregnancy. Abstinence-only very rarely works and lack of contraception doesn’t stop many people.

      I don’t really see abortion as “evil”, but I think far fewer women just up and decide to have an abortion because it’s no big deal to them than how it is sometimes portrayed. I don’t see it as an alternative to using condoms or the pill, and that the decision should never be made lightly, but I do not judge women who chose to abort. I identify as firmly pro-choice, so I believe women should be allowed full reign over their reproductive rights. And I think, when it comes down to it, women who elect to have abortions are taking care of themselves by doing what they see is best for them and their current situation.

    • Crusty Socks

      I can agree with that

    • Kay_Sue

      “I don’t see it as an alternative to using condoms or the pill…”

      And neither do the majority of women that seek an abortion, especially those seeking one for the first time (which is also a majority of women seeking the procedure…at least one out of two, actually). A relatively significant number of women seeking abortions used birth control of some type in the month preceding their abortion.

    • pixie

      Of course! I know most women don’t see it as an alternative :) I wasn’t trying to sound like I was saying that a lot of women do, I was just trying to assert where I stand on the topic.

    • Kay_Sue

      I was agreeing with you, lady! And adding a few details to support your stance. :-P

    • pixie

      Clearly I need sleep :P School is kicking my ass right now and turned my brain to mush so I can’t tell if someone’s agreeing with or misunderstanding me

    • Kay_Sue

      Let me ask you this, Crusty.

      Is a woman who experiences an unplanned pregnancy, who realizes that she can’t support a baby and does not expect support from the father, or who realizes that having a baby would derail her career, or who realizes that she simply could not give a child the attention that the child needs, who seeks an abortion, not taking personal responsibility for her actions? She’s not saying anyone made her seek this procedure, she’s not saying her fetus is anyone else’s responsibility, she’s not saying her future is anyone else’s responsibility.

      We have this idea that the two–a woman seeking an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy and the concept of personal responsibility–are mutually exclusive…but they are not. They can coexist quite well. The statistics bear out that, in the majority of cases, most women are seeking an abortion for the second time (1 in 2, I think, but it may be 1 in 3). If you bump that up to include women seeking an abortion for the second time, it’s almost 75%. A majority also used birth control, according to their own admissions, in the month preceding their pregnancy. These aren’t wanton women, running around making babies with no real consideration for consequences, and thinking they’ll get rid of them.

      As far as what we have concluded as a society, we haven’t. It’s a big part of why this stays so divisive for us. I fall into the “nunya” camp. What someone else does with their body is “nunya” (or my) business.

    • Alex Lee

      You might not get a conclusive answer to that question. I would think the majority of pro-choice advocates are moderate in their belief and vice-versa (bell curves). You could present extreme cases to both sides and get alternating answers.

      My view of society is slightly different than yours. I, too, believe in personal responsibility, but I also believe that we have a responsibility to others as well as ourselves. I have a full-time job with great benefits, but I recognize that I am relying on my CEO and hundreds of other individuals for this employment. I live in a great neighborhood, but there are others in my community that make it great.

      I’m curious as to what your idea of “not relying on others” means.

    • keelhaulrose

      Just for information regarding sex education in school, here’s a couple resources: (these only concern the US)
      First, only 22 states require sex ed. Only 19 require their sex ed to be ‘medically accurate’
      And another enlightening article, that says 25% of our schools are getting abstinence-only education, and a good deal more are ‘stressing abstinence’.
      Unfortunately the areas where abstinence is the only sex education allowed are also the places where many parents will refuse to supplement said education with information about contraceptives and safe sex (unsurprisingly these areas also have a trend of high levels of teenage pregnancy).
      Often the ONLY sex education students are getting is from the school because parents seem to like to pass the buck on the sex talk because it’s uncomfortable. We can’t really expect people to use any access they may have to birth control if they haven’t been properly informed about said birth control.
      I’ve told this story before, but when I was in college I was very active in my campus’ LGBT group, and through that we did a yearly information table on HIV/AIDs Awareness day. We’d give out condoms and sex information to all students, not just the LGBT. You’d be completely shocked at the number of students who thought that they couldn’t get HIV because they were in a straight relationship. You’d also be surprised at the number of college students who couldn’t properly put on a condom (we provided demonstrations, and would ‘challenge’ students to put one on a banana as a lighthearted way to get them to talk to us, though often we’d be teaching some of the basics like which way it rolled on). It seems common sense, but I’ve heard everything from ‘you only take birth control pills when you have sex’ to ‘can I turn the condom inside-out and rinse it off?’ to ‘you can’t get an STD from oral/anal’.
      Access to birth control is somewhat abysmal for many, with free/reduced clinics few and far between at places and becoming fewer, but it doesn’t really help when people don’t even know the basics. And when you get a failure in access and a failure in education we get unplanned pregnancies.
      Abortion opponents can stop unwanted pregnancies by doing things many of them are advocating against- advocating for free/reduced cost BC (I had to pay $40 a pack WITH health insurance) including free/reduced cost clinics in places with a lack of them now, and sex education that stresses safe-sex and not just abstinence.

    • Alex Lee

      I’m not an abortion opponent, so I can only guess –

      One strategy is to convince you that your pregnancy is actually *wanted*. That ending a pregnancy is somehow criminal or sinful to (their) deity. They challenge your ethics with pictures of cute, smiling infants who may or may not grow into three-year-old assholes.

      They know better than you. Your reasoning is compromised from your pregnancy and you just need talking-to. Because their two-thousand-year-old-book that’s been translated several, several times from word-of-mouth by a dead-language half-a-planet away says it’s wrong to kill under any circumstance but it’s okay to ignore those other verses in Leviticus.

      I mean, don’t you WANT to get into heaven after you die? St. Peter is charging admission at the gate – what WOULDN’T you pay?!?

      you just have to believe

  • Rachel Sea

    Hey now, AZ has THREE things to worry about: being overrun by brown people, disarmament by feminazis, and ladyparts. I think you underestimate how hard it is to juggle the combined threats of liberal terrorism against rich old white guys.

  • koreander

    I don’t get it. Why is it that legislators in some states are so insanely obsessed with sex? Closing abortion clinics, blocking access to birth control, abstinence-only sex “ed”… it’s like they’re doing just about anything in their power to make sexuality invisible so they can pretend it doesn’t exist. These people are adult human beings (I think), so I guess it’s safe to assume some, if not most of them, have experienced it before – so why on earth are they so scared of it they would risk the lives and health of their citizens just to avoid it? Isn’t that the exact opposite of what they were elected to do??

    Thank God people are fighting this mess indeed.

    • JJ

      Clearly they just want plunge us back into some kind of dark age for women. some age where women are nothing but objects to be dictated to and controlled by the powers that be. Didn’t you know women can’t be expected to make sex and procreation choices for themselves, Sure we’re legal adults but now we apparently can’t handle it according to politicians. Religion and politics tell us what we can do now. Ladies go be in the kitchen and bear yourselves some children: no birth control, abortion or choice for you. No basic pregnancy care at women’s clinics because we are shutting them all down so you can’t even get prescriptions for morning sickness/prenatal pills. This is what happens when we let religious, anti women nut jobs who live in the 1950′s in power.

    • RayneofCastamere

      They’re looking back to an imagined past, is what they’re doing. They think that at one time the world was strictly patriarchal with women in the kitchen and the men outside and that it was perfect and that feminism ruined it. But they’re wrong. That world never existed and thank goodness for that because the world would be even worse off now if it did.

      In truth, women, even in the so-called “Dark Ages”, have been out and about and using various forms of contraception and abortion since the dawn of time. The period just after the Black Death has actually been speculated to have been a mini golden age of sorts for women in Europe, given that the lack of labor force meant that those left alive could demand more for their services and some women earned enough so that they didn’t have to marry at all if they didn’t feel like it. Craftsmen often taught their daughters and wives their trade so that they could run the shop by themselves if need be and still earn a living if he died (something A Knight’s Tale got right with blacksmith Kate). Women completely ran the beer industry at one point, at least in England. Hell, some noblewomen and royal women were taught to run the whole kitten caboodle. Katherine of Aragon was raised by her parents Ferdinand and Isabella to run countries and even led her husband Henry VIII’s troops into battle while he was in France. Don’t even get me started on Catarina Sforza.

      So far as I can tell, there was even a sort of “acceptance” kinda/sorta/maybe for induced abortions so long as they were done discreetly and more preferably before whenever the local belief said that the fetus acquired a soul (anywhere from 40 days or even up to 120 days after conception, depending on who you talked to).

      Hell, 1/3 of all Puritan marriages, PURITANS for fuck’s sake, were done while the bride was pregnant which points to a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

      This is not to say that Ye Olden Dayes were a sexy liberated paradise of sexy liberated sex, they really weren’t, but they were a far cry from what these politicians like to think that they were.

      Essay that no one asked for is over. Back to kittens.

  • JJ

    Why don’t they just come out and say it, “WE HATE WOMEN”. Thats all I see every time I keep seeing stories about the same states over and over again trying to create and enforce laws that find every possible way to stop women from considering abortion, seeking pregnancy options or hell even getting a birth control prescription. Do some of these anti women groups and politicians even know that a lot of these clinics administer basic pregnancy check ups and help women maintain healthy pregnancies? Why don’t you just come out and say, “hey ladies don’t have sex ever, even if your married, unless you want a lot babies because the only form of protection your getting is abstinence”. We get it certain states in America, you hate women and think they are just dirty whores who love getting abortions for fun kicks and taking the morning after pill as a joke to offend certain law makers religious sensitivity. Well now I know as women to never go to any of these places should I ever happen to become pregnant and need help I think I will just stay in Canada, thanks. I sympathize so much for all the poor women who are now screwed because of these political figures who feel the need to control women’s bodies for us by dictating everything they can and cannot do while being a baby incubator.