Arizona AG asks US Supreme Court to reinstate abortion law

[JURIST] Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne [official website] on Wednesday asked US Supreme Court to reconsider a controversial Arizona law [HB 2800, PDF] that would strip Medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that perform abortions. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] struck down [JURIST report] the law in August [JURIST report]. The law, which would affect more than 80 hospitals and clinics [AZ Central report] that perform abortions in Arizona, seeks to eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for contraceptives, cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and annual women's exams. The lower court held that HB 2800 was a violation of the Medicaid statute [text] because it limited patient's options in choosing their doctors. The law was passed by the legislature, and signed by the governor in 2012, but is not currently in effect.

This is the latest development in the ongoing reproductive rights controversy [JURIST backgrounder] in the US. In October, a federal judge dismissed a challenge [JURIST report] to Arizona's race based abortion laws. In May, a federal court struck down the state's 20-week abortion ban [JURIST report]. Last October the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declined to reconsider its August decision to allow Texas to defund Planned Parenthood [JURIST reports]. The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an injunction [JURIST report] against an Indiana law that would block Medicaid funding for abortion providers earlier that same month. In August the Fifth Circuit upheld Louisiana's Act 490, which allows the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to revoke an abortion clinic's license [JURIST report] immediately after a regulation violation, rather than allowing the abortion clinic time to comply with the regulation. That same month a Kansas judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging the state's new abortion clinic regulations after state officials asked that they be upheld without a trial.

 

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