December 7, 2022
Arizona Clinic Finds Solution to Abortion Pill Ban

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix abortion clinic has come up with a way for patients who can terminate their pregnancies by using a pill to receive the drug without violating a revived Arizona law banning most abortions.

Under the arrangement beginning Monday, patients will have an ultrasound in Arizona, receive a prescription via a telehealth appointment with a California doctor and then have it shipped to a post office in a California border town for pickup, all for free. .

While not as easy as an Arizona judge previously ruled, an ex-state law Almost all abortions can be criminalized About two weeks in advance, the procedure saves an overnight trip to a major California city with an abortion clinic. And it’s more accessible than the previous workaround CamelBack Family Planning used in Phoenix, in which a doctor in Sweden had to prescribe pills and a pharmacy in India sends them to Arizona. This may take up to three weeks.

Ashley Fairing, a nurse at the clinic, said the cost of the pills would be covered by Arizona’s Abortion Fund, which is helping women pay for out-of-state access to abortions. Women can use the pill for abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Pills and surgical abortions were legal for about 24 weeks, until the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June and allowed states to ban all abortions.

Food and Drug Administration earlier this year Permanently removed rules requiring in-person consultation Allows women to make telehealth appointments with a provider before they can get a drug abortion and to receive pills through the mail.

But Arizona has a law that bans mailing pills, as well as a law that bans all abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger. This has prompted clinics to make arrangements with clinics New Mexico and California to treat patients Those who wanted to use the abortion pill as well as those who needed a surgical abortion for more than 12 weeks.

In Camelback Family Planning, Fairing said they aren’t concerned about ultrasound and post-abortion care for people who use the pill for abortion.

“We are not providing abortions,” Fairing said. “We’re just giving people information.”

People who ship pills to one of three California cities along the border with Arizona pick them up from the post office and take the first medicine there before returning home and taking the second. They will return to the clinic in about a week for a follow-up examination.

Cathy Herod, president of the social conservative organization Center for Arizona Policy and architect of many of Arizona’s tough abortion restrictions, rejected the proposal.

“The plan for abortion pills shows a surprising disregard for the health and well-being of the mother,” Herod said.

Despite FDA approval, Herod argues that abortion pills have significant consequences and require women to have an individualized exam and follow-up care.

“I’m not surprised that the abortion industry would care more about their bottom line and sales of pills than they still think about taking care of women,” she said.

Arizona is one of several Republican-led states that prohibit the delivery of abortion pills through the mail. It is one of 14 states with a near-total abortion ban, which was allowed by the Supreme Court when the row was reversed.

About 13,000 Arizona women had abortions last year, nearly half with one pill. Most occurred before the 15th week of pregnancy.

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