ADF argues to breathe new life into Arizona Abortion Consent Act

ADF attorney available to media after hearing concerning judge’s order that halted state laws protecting pregnant women
Monday, June 13, 2011

WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Horne
WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, immediately after oral arguments, which begin at 1 p.m. PDT
WHERE: Arizona Court of Appeals, 1501 W. Washington St., State Courts Building, Division One, Department B, 2nd Floor, Courtroom 2, Phoenix

PHOENIX — Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden will be available for media interviews Tuesday following his oral arguments in favor of lifting an order that stalled the Arizona Abortion Consent Act. An Arizona judge halted the act while a Planned Parenthood lawsuit challenging it moves forward. In March of last year, ADF--together with the Center for Arizona Policy, the Bioethics Defense Fund, and the Life Legal Defense Foundation--appealed the judge’s order, which is tying up new state laws designed to protect the health and safety of pregnant women and their preborn children.

“If Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of going to court to tear them down,” said Aden. “The protection of women should not be on hold while the nation’s largest abortion purveyor ties things up in court.”

The Arizona Abortion Consent Act prohibits non-physicians from performing surgical abortions, provides for women to receive full and accurate information at least 24 hours before an abortion, protects health care workers who object to performing or facilitating abortions, and requires notarized parental consent for minors seeking abortions.  The legislation also ensures that women receive information on abortion alternatives, long-term medical risks, and the probable gestational age of the preborn child at the time of the requested abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld 24-hour waiting periods.  In a Harris poll, 88 percent of adults said they support laws which require abortion providers to inform mothers of possible health risks and of abortion alternatives, 95 percent favor laws ensuring that abortions be performed only by licensed physicians, and 73 percent support laws requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion.  An additional poll found that 87 percent of Americans believe health care workers should not be forced to participate in abortions.

Deborah Sheasby of the Center for Arizona Policy and Nik Nikas of the Bioethics Defense Fund, co-counsel and two of more than 2,000 attorneys in the ADF alliance, will also be attending the hearing. The notice of appeal in the case, Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Horne, was filed on behalf of bill sponsors Sen. Linda Gray and Rep. (now Sen.) Nancy Barto, doctors, and numerous organizations that wish to defend what they call the common-sense protections offered by the law. 
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.