Planned Parenthood explains the practical result of yesterday's state appellate court decision upholding a state law that requires physicians to read a state-mandated script to women seeking an abortion:
Planned Parenthood has complied with the 24 hour requirement since shortly after the law was passed in 2009. Experienced, empathetic Planned Parenthood nurses have provided the state-mandated information over the phone. In order to comply with these new restrictions, however, Planned Parenthood will face the all-but-impossible challenge of hiring multiple physicians to read this script instead. What is more, the patient would now be banned from hearing the script by phone, necessitating a second medically unnecessary trip.
As the anti-women’s health legislators who wrote this law know, there simply are not enough physicians in Arizona’s rural communities who are trained and willing to play this role. And as they also know, requiring two trips across the vast distances in our state will be a burden some will not be able to overcome.
The impact of this ruling isn’t going to be felt just by women in rural communities. The doctor shortage may also force Planned Parenthood to shut down abortion care in as many as seven more PP health centers within metro Phoenix and metro Tucson.
Gov. Jan Brewer's reaction:
This is a great day for Arizona women and parents.
The 2009 Abortion Consent Act empowers women by giving them the objective information they need prior to deciding whether to have an abortion. Women deserve all the facts from their physician, in-person, before making such a critical decision. Today’s court decision will help guarantee that.
The Act also empowers parents by strengthening Arizona’s parental consent laws. Now, in most cases, any minor seeking an abortion must first obtain a notarized statement of parental consent. Effective parental consent is a fundamental principle that Arizonans on both sides of the abortion debate can support. Today’s ruling will also protect women’s health and safety by requiring that surgical abortions be performed by a physician.
These are common sense regulations that will help protect Arizona families, and I’m thrilled the Court has allowed the law to take effect as intended.