3 abortion laws go into effect Wednesday - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

3 abortion laws go into effect Wednesday

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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 2:33 pm | Updated: 12:37 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Three laws dealing with abortion also are set to take effect Wednesday. But whether two of them will be enforced remains up in the air.

The broader of these two laws requires that women who want to terminate a pregnancy first be given certain information, in person, about the procedure and alternatives at least 24 hours in advance.

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A hearing is set for Tuesday in U.S. District Court on a challenge to the law by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Its legal papers contend the requirement for an additional trip to the clinic interferes with the constitutional right of a woman to have an abortion.

That measure also expands provisions in existing law allowing medical personnel to refuse to participate in abortions or facilitate them in any way. It includes a specific right of pharmacists and others to refuse to dispense emergency contraceptives, even in cases of rape, on the belief that the massive dose of hormones, known as the “morning after pill,” can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.

That provision is being challenged in a separate state court lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood. A judge will hear arguments Tuesday whether to let the law take effect while the legality of its provisions is litigated.

Planned Parenthood also is suing to halt enforcement of another law that says only physicians can perform surgical abortions. Nurse practitioners with specialized training have performed abortions in the past.

Judges in both cases are expected to rule no later than Wednesday on requests to enjoin enforcement of the key provisions of both laws.

One abortion measure will take effect Wednesday, making “partial birth” abortions illegal under state law.

That law mirrors existing federal statutes. Backers said Arizona needs its own law to ensure cases can be brought to court by state prosecutors.

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