Window for Medicated Abortions to Be Shortened Under Arizona Health Regulations

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Women's-health experts have issued guidelines that allow women to chose the option of a medicated abortion at up to nine weeks of pregnancy, but Arizona doctors won't be able to follow the protocol anymore.

The Arizona Department of Health Services released new rules to comply with House Bill 2036, signed by the governor in 2012. That law calls for ADHS to make various rules, including that doctors have to prescribe the abortion-inducing medications in compliance with the FDA's protocol. The FDA's protocol says these medications can be used up to seven weeks of pregnancy -- narrowing the window recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

See also:
-No Supreme Court Review of Decision on 20-Week Abortion Ban

Although some other states have such a regulation, the change in Arizona may have gotten lost in all the noise about HB 2036. One of the most talked-about provisions in that law banned all abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, which a federal appeals court found unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.

Bryan Howard, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, blasted the new change on medicated abortions, scheduled to take effect on April 1:
"Now the Arizona Department of Health Services, under the direction of Governor Jan Brewer, is requiring physicians to use an inferior, out-of-date method of care for medication abortion instead of the guidelines supported by the most trusted professional and scientific organizations, such as the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In addition to forcing doctors in Arizona to administer medication abortion in a way that goes against the research-driven guidelines by experts in women's health, these regulations would deprive many women of the option of medication abortion by banning it after seven weeks of pregnancy. The decision to end a pregnancy is personal and complex, but ultimately one that a woman must make, in consultation with her family, her faith, and her healthcare provider."
The alternative methods for using these medications, and not in line with the FDA's protocol, have been found to have "efficacy equal or superior to the FDA-approved regimen." Plus, it can be used for an additional two weeks, unlike under the FDA guidelines.

Medical professionals are also fighting a very similar provision in Texas' recently passed abortion bill, which is also facing court battles.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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11 comments
Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

What is it with Arizona politicians that they can't seem to get their heads out of the Vagina of every woman in Arizona.

Reggievv
Reggievv

Sounds like Cathi "Taliban" Herrod runs Arizona. Oh, yeah, she does.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

HipTip -- if you're against Abortion, then don't have one.



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

When were the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists protocols published?  Were they available when the legislature decided to go with the FDA?


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Cozz 

That's generally true, but in this case, all we really know is that they said that doctors should follow the FDA's recommendations.   I don't see that as being unreasonable UNLESS there were better recommendations available at the time that they passed the law.   We haven't heard that that's the case.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 

If you want to make progress on the issue, you have to try to understand your opponents better than that.  Since they consider abortion to be murder, your "logic" is like saying, "If you don't like killing children, then don't kill one".  See how absurd that sounds to them?


Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 

Now that is way to much logic for Arizona to understand.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@valleynative

I agree with that, have to wait and see how it plays out.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14 topcommenter

@valleynative@DonkeyHotay 

The only thing you have to understand about your opponents is that they have deluded themselves into thinking that they're on a mission from God.

Just ask The Ayatollah Herrod.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@valleynative @DonkeyHotay This issue will never be solved until the extremists  on both ends give a little.  Like I said:  "This issue will never be solved."

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@shadeaux14@valleynative@DonkeyHotay 

That's certainly one of the things you should understand about some of them, but you'll never change their minds, so you should be addressing the more reasonable people who oppose abortion on moral, but not dogmatic, grounds.

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