Anti-Abortion Legislation on the Rise in Southern States
Anti-abortion legislation in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arizona hit hard this week — all three considering or having laws go into effect that would reduce or completely cut off access to certain types of abortions within the states. In Arizona, a law went into effect that limited women’s ability to seek out a drug-induced abortion. Planned Parenthood asked that U.S. District Judge David Bury freeze the law before it went into effect while it awaits consideration on its constitutionality, but he chose at the last moment to allow it to continue into implementation. “Given the ready availability of a safe alternative method of abortion,” Bury said, he believes it would be hard for Planned Parenthood to demonstrate that the law “is a substantial obstacle to a woman’s right to obtain a first trimester abortion in Arizona,” according to Bloomberg.
The law bans abortions through medicinal methods in the 8th and 9th weeks of pregnancy, a ban that covers the RU-486 pill. Some — such as David Brown, lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights — argue that the law would make abortions less safe for women. “This law serves no purpose other than to prevent Arizona women from using a safe alternative to surgical abortion and force their doctors to follow an outdated, riskier, and less effective method,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
“This is what happens when politicians, not doctors, practice medicine.” Drug-induced-abortion legislation has been challenged in Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas so far; Arizona has been appealing and banning in turn, striking down various abortion legislation for some time now, while also attempting to knock the Roe v. Wade decision over and deny access to abortion in general.