Planned Parenthood: Repeal Arizona law similar to Texas one

PHOENIX (AP) — A law in Arizona requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges hospitals within 30 miles of a clinic is under new scrutiny after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday voted to repeal a similar regulation out of Texas.

Planned Parenthood Arizona says it wants the state to repeal a requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges within 30 miles of a clinic.

The high court voted 5-3 on Monday to repeal two Texas laws. One forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery, which shuttered most Texas clinics. The other required doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

A similar law has been in the Arizona books for years.

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Jodi Liggett of Planned Parenthood Arizona said the organization is working with Democratic lawmakers to repeal that law and that it’s ready to mount a legal challenge.

The organization was one of several that sued Arizona after it passed a law in 2012 that restricted where and how women could take drugs that cause abortion. An appeals court sided with the groups, and the Supreme Court in December left in place that ruling blocking the law from taking effect. The law would have among other things prohibited the use of the drugs after the seventh week of pregnancy instead of the ninth.

Monday’s ruling in the Texas case sets precedent, but it doesn’t require existing laws to automatically change.

Planned Parenthood Arizona will push legal action if the law isn’t repealed by the Arizona Legislature, Liggett said.

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“The reality is we live in a state where our Legislature is not necessarily reflective of the population in terms of their views, so I think we’re gonna have a tough time getting this Legislature to repeal anything related to abortion,” Liggett said.

Liggett said attorneys planned on evaluating all of the recently-passed Arizona abortion laws.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich declined to comment on the ruling.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which has been behind most of the recently passed abortion regulations, said Monday’s ruling on the Texas law will not have an impact on the Arizona law.

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Herrod said the admitting privileges law is necessary for women’s health. “The Arizona law has been in effect for several years without any problems,” she said.

She also said the ruling will not prevent state lawmakers from passing abortion laws in the future.

“Today’s ruling does not preclude or prohibit Arizona lawmakers from enacting common-sense regulations to protect and provide for women who are considering abortion,” she said.

Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion on Monday held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.