In September 2009, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the Abortion Consent Act into law. Provisions of this historic piece of legislation include:
- Requires licensed physicians to perform surgical abortions, whereas non-physicians had previously been allowed to perform the murderous procedures.
- Protects any medical or health workers who refuse to take part in any abortion procedures on the grounds that they object due to ethical or religious grounds, from any form of punishment.
- Requires a notarized parental consent form for all minors who want an abortion.
- Requires that all women seeking an abortion be fully informed at least 24 hours in advance of the procedures, including possible consequences from them. The information provided includes abortion alternatives, long-term medical risks to the mother, and the approximate age of the unborn child about to be murdered.
Not long after Gov. Brewer signed the ACA into law, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenging its legality. The Alliance Defense Fund, the Center for Arizona Policy, the Bioethics Defense Fund and the Life Legal Defense Foundation joined together to help defend the new law.
Alliance Defense Fund attorney Steven H. Aden said, “A woman’s right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood’s desire to profit from abortions. Without this legal roadblock, women will now be better protected — and so will pro-life medical professionals whom the law protects from being coerced into participating in abortions.”
Center for Arizona Policy co-counsel Deborah Sheasby added, “Everyone deserves full and accurate information before undergoing any medical procedure. These types of protections have been repeatedly upheld and are overwhelmingly supported by the public.”
In June of 2011, the case was argued before the Arizona Court of Appeals. Possibly knowing that the US Supreme Court has consistently ruled in favor of 24 hour waiting periods in previous cases, Planned Parenthood has now withdrawn their challenge to the Arizona Consent Act. No word has yet been released to say whether the Center for Reproductive Rights will continue with their part of the lawsuit or not, now that Planned Parenthood has withdrawn from the suit.
We need to pray in earnest that the other litigant follows Planned Parenthood’s retreat and that this vital piece of legislation is finally enacted.