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Church State Issues

Arizona's abortion law a return to the dark ages

Jun 5, 2014

Arizona Republic

Courts get in the way of the legislators turning Arizona into a Christian theocracy.

In this editorial it seems like the courts are getting in the way of the Arizona legislators desire to turn Arizona into a Christian theocracy based on the will of their behind the scenes leader Cathi Herrod (Cathi Harrod?) and her "Center for Arizona Policy".


Arizona's abortion law a return to the dark(er) ages

EJ Montini, columnist | azcentral.com 5:13 p.m. MST June 4, 2014

Arizona lawmakers are probably wondering what the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has against time travel.

The court recently came down hard on the Arizona Legislature for trying to turn back the clocks and get us to live in the past.

Our legislators were trying to return us to recently bygone days, a time when modern medicine had not fully developed its alternative to surgical abortion.

Rest assured, the Legislature wasn't trying to go all the way back to the days of back alley abortions, but only to a time that would have forced women seeking abortion services between the seventh and ninth week of pregnancy to go under the knife rather than utilizing the safer, non-surgical procedure now available.

The law stated that the abortion drug RU-486 must be used as it was originally authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which was through the seventh week. There have been advances in medicine since that original authorization, however. Doctors now use RU-486 and another drug (in less dangerous doses) through the ninth week of a pregnancy. The FDA is fine with that. Regulators actually encourage scientific advancement.

Arizona lawmakers – not so much.

The Legislature apparently believed that the newer, safer protocol made it too easy on women contemplating this difficult choice, and decided that more of them should be made to undergo surgery.

The court disagreed. The three-judge panel said that the limits imposed by Arizona lawmakers had "substantially burdened" the rights of women.

The law was pushed by the powerful Center for Arizona Policy, which gets some form of anti-abortion legislation passed just about every year. It was challenged in court by Planned Parenthood and the Tucson Women's Center.

Back when the case was first heard, the local president of Planned Parenthood said, "We are all better off when physicians – and not politicians – decide what care is best for their patients. If implemented, these misguided restrictions would force doctors to provide care to their patients that goes against 13 years of research and practice in the medical field."

The argument over abortion rights isn't going anywhere. It shouldn't. The issue too important not to talk about. In their ruling on this case the judges pointed out that the old FDA protocol was more dangerous than what is now used. That the new law make things more dangerous for women.

You can't win an argument by legislating a reversal of scientific progress.

Well, you could, I guess. But should you?

Will lawmakers expand their time travel scheme of reverting to bygone days in order to deal with other troublesome issues?

There are plenty of other possibilities.

Pollution is a problem in Arizona. Lawmakers could pass a bill outlawing the internal combustion engine and dictating a return to the horse and buggy.

Water shortages loom in the future. They could ban flush toilets.

And the Valley keeps growing in population, putting more and more strain on dwindling resources of all sorts. What better way to curb the influx of new residents than by prohibiting the use of air-conditioning?

Heck, if the certainty of future progress bothers lawmakers so much why not just ban clocks?

They don't need them, anyway.

They're already living in the past.