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.


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