Planned Parenthood sues Arizona over telemedicine abortion ban

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Planned Parenthood of Arizona is suing the state over its abortion prevention laws, including those that prohibit telemedicine abortions, AZ Central reports.

While Arizona has a ban on telemedicine abortions, the use of telemedicine to administer medication for abortions could help make procedures more accessible in Arizona, Planned Parenthood of Arizona President and CEO Bryan Howard wrote in a viewpoint article in AZ Central.

"The Legislature has promoted the use of telemedicine to provide other [healthcare] services — even treatment for strokes," Mr. Howard wrote. "There is no medical reason to make an exception for abortion."

Arizona's targeted regulation of abortion provider laws has resulted in a 40 percent decrease in abortion clinics in the state, with 80 percent of Arizona counties left with no access to abortion clinics and weeks-long wait times, according to a news release from the Center for Reproductive Rights.

In addition to the telemedicine ban, Planned Parenthood's lawsuit challenges the state's advanced practice clinician ban, which prevents clinicians like nurse practitioners from performing abortion services, according to the news release. The lawsuit also objects to Arizona's 24-hour mandatory delay and two-trip requirement, which requires women to visit a clinic in person two times, with one-day between visits, before moving forward with the abortion process.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona filed the federal lawsuit to "challenge these medically unnecessary laws that attack women's constitutionally protected right to access abortion services," Mr. Howard wrote.

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