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Horne Seeks U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on State Medication Abortion Restrictions

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AP/Ross D. Franklin
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Attorney General Tom Horne on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that state lawmakers can legally restrict the right of women to a medication abortion if they have justification to do so — and other options remain. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Planned Parenthood has been using RU-486 to terminate pregnancies through the ninth week along with another drug. But, the law says doctors in Arizona can use the drug only as labeled by the manufacturer according to Food and Drug Administration rules. And, the FDA-approved label limits its use through seven weeks — and only if administered on consecutive days by a doctor. Earlier this year the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Arizona from enforcing the restriction, saying it’s an undue burden on some women — and one without sufficient justification in protecting maternal health. But, Horne told the high court that legislators have done nothing illegal.

“The FDA seems to have reached the conclusion that it’s safe for a certain number of weeks and not after that. And I think the Legislature ought to be able to rely on what the FDA said,” Horne said.

Nonetheless, Horne said, the right to a surgical abortion remains. And, he said women have no legal right to choose a specific method of terminating a pregnancy. Two other federal appellate courts have upheld similar laws in other states. That may give Horne his best chance of convincing the high court to intercede to determine who is right.

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