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Arizona's New Abortion Rules Temporarily Halted by Appeals Court

Just like that, Arizona's new abortion regulations are not in effect.

Earlier this week, a federal judge decided not to grant a temporary injunction against Arizona's new regulations that cut down on the use of medicated abortions. The law went into effect on Tuesday, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on the new rules yesterday.

See also:
-Center for Reproductive Rights to Appeal Decision on Medicated-Abortion Rules

Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights are fighting the new rules in court -- rules that were implemented by the state health department to comply with House Bill 2036, signed into law in 2012.

The law, and new regulations, mandate that doctors must comply with the FDA protocol for prescribing the pills used in medicated abortions.

The FDA's protocol for the abortion medications says, among other things, that these medications can be used up to seven weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers in the state currently rely on the medical standard outlined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says the preferred method of administering the medications can be done through nine weeks of pregnancy.

A spokeswoman for the Center for Reproductive Rights says the appeals court could decide to continue or lift the stay as early as Monday.

As we've explained before, Planned Parenthood officials have estimated that this would have impacted about 800 women last year. Medicated abortion would not have been an option for those 800 women, so a surgical abortion would've been the only option. There's no abortion clinic in Arizona north of Phoenix that provides surgical abortions.

The law that forced this regulation was pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, with a claim that the "health and safety of women" was in jeopardy with use of the abortion medications, despite multiple studies declaring the non-FDA method safe.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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