Planned Parenthood Quietly Drops Lawsuit Against Arizona Abortion Restrictions

abortion fetus
AP/Esteban Felix

Planned Parenthood of Arizona quietly dropped its 2019 lawsuit against three state abortion restrictions.

On Wednesday, Arizona Capitol Times reported the abortion provider’s decision to drop its lawsuit “without explanation.”

One restriction challenged in the lawsuit held that only physicians could perform abortions, a second prohibited the distribution of abortion-inducing drugs through telemedicine for at-home abortions, and a third required a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion.

Planned Parenthood filed legal paperwork Tuesday, asking U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps to dismiss the lawsuit, according to the report.

The Times noted:

No one from Planned Parenthood of Arizona, which promoted its filing of the 2019 lawsuit, would explain the decision to drop the case. Instead, Lola Bovell, a vice president of the organization, provided only a written statement about its ongoing concerns about the statutes in question.

“The status of this lawsuit does not change the fact that harmful laws like telemedicine bans, advance practice clinician bans, and mandatory waiting periods push abortion access out of reach for far too many people,” Bovell reportedly said.

Planned Parenthood said the laws have had an impact on the closure of Arizona clinics, the report noted.

Facilities in Yuma, Goodyear, Prescott Valley, and Chandler have closed. Additionally, the Flagstaff clinic provides abortions only one day per week.

The Times piece raises the issue of whether the legal landscape is changing away from automatic acceptance of abortion.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which has helped to write the statutes that were challenged, told Capitol Media Services in 2019 the restrictions were all justifiable.

“Abortion is different than other medical procedures,” she said. “It involves taking of a life, it involves risk to the woman’s health.”

In May 2019, Herrod said in a statement abortion “is the human rights issue of our day.”

“While some states pass extreme laws legalizing abortion to the point of birth, others are fighting to protect the most vulnerable among us and the mothers who carry them,” she added.


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