Friday, August 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood of Arizona to stop performing Abortions at Seven clinics throughout State - cites recent Court of Appeals Decision

As reported throughout the news yesterday, Planned Parenthood of Arizona has decided to stop performing abortions at seven of its clinics in the state after a Court of Appeals decision that struck down a lower court order staying enforcement of the 2009 Arizona Abortion Consent Act that provided certain safety standards for women.

The measures upheld by the Court of Appeals require the abortion facility to give women seeking an abortion an informed consent consultation with the physician performing the abortion 24 hours prior to the procedure. The law requires minors to provide notarized parental consent before getting an abortion. The statute protects pharmacists and other health-care professionals if they refuse to provide emergency contraception on religious or moral grounds. Finally the law, in response to an outrageous attempt by the Board of Nursing to expand the nurse practitioner’s ability to perform surgical procedures, limits the provision of surgical abortions to only physicians.

Reaction throughout the pro-life community both locally and nationwide has been swift.

Our friends over at the Center for Arizona Policy had this to say on Cathi Herrod’s blog:

Planned Parenthood has chosen to end their services rather than raise the standard of care they provide women to be at the same level as all other medical care in the state. For years, life advocates at the legislature have been saying that Arizona women deserve better than the substandard care Planned Parenthood provides.
The fact that Planned Parenthood can’t find doctors to work at their clinics is telling. Caring health care professionals, particularly doctors, don’t want to be a part of an industry that harms women and takes the lives of pre-born children.

Ron Johnson of the Arizona Catholic Conference also commented on the decision in an email to LifeNews.

“We are very grateful that the Court of Appeals has reversed the trial court ruling and upheld provisions drafted by the Arizona Catholic Conference with respect to rights of conscience for all healthcare providers, including pharmacists,” he said. “This litigation is not over and there remains a possibility that the case could be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the ACC is most grateful to the legislative sponsors of this legislation (Linda Gray and Nancy Barto) as well as to former Speaker Kirk Adams and current Speaker Andy Tobin for intervening in this case and Governor Brewer for signing this bill.”
It is because of the great work of Cathi and the Center along with Ron Johnson that the law was passed in the first place.

But you – the pro-life voter - played a very important role in helping to elect men and women who will vote for life affirming measures and call upon the health care industry to protect the rights and health of women. Until we can end this holocaust, we must continue our efforts using the legislature to insure that women know the real dangers of the both the surgical and medical abortion procedures, be those dangers physical or mental.

Around the country pro-life leaders had this to say:

"Today, the women of Arizona are a little safer because of new laws that force abortion clinics to stop cutting corners on women's health and safety," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "We predict a dramatic decline in the number of abortions in Arizona in the coming years since there will be fewer locations marketing abortions to women."
"Planned Parenthood can no longer exploit vulnerable women by subjecting them to dangerous abortions done by non-physicians. They have chosen to stop their now illegal abortion operations, rather than bring their abortion businesses into compliance, and that is a huge victory for women and their pre-born babies that this law was enacted to protect."

Abortions will no longer be available at Planned Parenthood clinics in Prescott Valley, Flagstaff, Yuma, Goodyear, northeast Phoenix, and Chandler locations where non-physicians had been doing abortions by administering abortion pills.

Planned Parenthood will continue doing abortions at their clinics in Glendale, Tempe, and Tuscon.

This year many states have passed laws addressing abortion clinic safety standards. In Kansas, a law that would make abortion clinics operate at the same standards as other medical clinics is currently being challenged in Federal Court by two abortion clinics that refuse to meet the new standards. In light of the Arizona ruling, hopefully their challenge is less likely to succeed.

In Texas, Planned Parenthood announced it will close seven abortion referral clinics by the end of September as a result of the state stopping the flow of tax dollars to the largest provider of abortion services in the country.

"Pro-life legislation such as the Arizona and Texas laws are effective at stopping abortion and saving lives today, while we work towards the future when the antiquated and barbaric practice of abortion is tossed in the trash heap of history where it belongs," said Newman. "With the vast resources now available to assist pregnant women, abortion is an unnecessary and uncivilized act with no place in the modern world. The majority of Americans believe that, and now we are seeing our laws reflect it."
We appreciate the work of the Alliance Defense Fund whose attorneys throughout the nation are helping pro-life organizations to successfully defend pro-life legislation. steve Aiden pointed out the total hypocrisy of Planned Parenthood's position.

“If Planned Parenthood truly cared about what’s best for women, they wouldn’t be repeatedly going to court around the nation to stop laws that allow women to make fully informed choices,” said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who argued before the Court of Appeals on June 14. “The court ruled rightly in this case in rejecting the arguments of the nation’s largest purveyor of abortion. The protection of women is not unconstitutional.”

There is still much to do and your prayers are still needed as we defend the most recent laws passed in 2011. Court proceedings on the current lawsuit are expected to commence on September 12, 2011. Check with us here or at the Arizona Right to Life website for more information.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arizona Court of Appeals upholds Pro-life laws

We hold that the statutes affected by the preliminary
injunction are constitutional, and we therefore vacate the
injunction in its entirety.

It is always nice to read an intelligent opinion written by jurists when discussing the issue of abortion and abortion legislation. So many times over the last 30 years, I have read an opinion only to shake my head and recall what has become known as the "abortion distortion." a condition suffered by judges and lawyers when attempting to use logic in considering abortion laws.

The Arizona Court of Appeals suffers from no such delusion. Its opinion lifting the injunction against the 2009 laws passed by the Arizona Legislature was lucid, logical and balanced. It examined the laws passed and determined that the legislature has the right to pas reasonably tailored laws to protect patients' lives, to protect parents' rights, to insure compliance with rights of conscience and to prevent patients' from being at additional risk to unscrupulous abortionists.

In light of the recent reports in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Texas, Indiana, and Maryland, the efforts by the Arizona Legislature to provide safeguards and protection to women should be applauded. Instead Planned Parenthood, as is its history, filed suit to stop enforcement of the law. A retired superior court judge was called up to hear the case. Ignoring all the rational reasons for the legislation, he enjoined it as unconstitutional.

The Arizona Abortion Consent Act prohibits non-physicians from performing surgical abortions. The Act provides for women to receive full and accurate information at least 24 hours before an abortion. Further the law protects health care workers who object to performing or facilitating abortions. It strengthens the parental consent law by requiring notarized parental consent for minors seeking abortions. The law also makes sure that women receive appropriate information regarding abortion alternatives, the long-term medical risks of abortion, and the probable gestational age of the unborn child prior to having the abortion.

Governor Jan Brewer released this statement:

“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.”

The Court of Appeals decision thus returns the case to the lower court for disposition. There are some who expect the matter to be further litigated or appealed. There is also the most recent lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood against the current group of laws just passed by the Legislature. But with yesterday's ruling, the current attack on these regulatory laws may not go anywhere. The Court was clear that on these facial challenges, Planned Parenthood has an uphill battle.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Using history to advance the cause

Understanding the history of a subject is critical if one is to effectively respond to it. There are various books written about the history of abortion. Marvin Olasky's Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America is an excellent book that seriously examines the history of abortion in the U.s.

There are also various web sites and blogs that do so as well. I recommend Real Choice by Christina Dunigan for your consideration. Her latest entry reminds us that simply because the abortion industry "claims" to be competent does not make it so.

Abortion has been used as a tool of oppression throughout history. This generation needs to stop this evil and restore the law so that all human beings are protected.