/ Modified mar 5, 2014 1:55 p.m.

AZ Planned Parenthood Sues State Over Abortion Drug Rules

Federal lawsuit against regulations that would limit use of most common abortion-inducing drug; would have gone into effect April 1.

Story by Jude Joffe-Block
Fronteras Desk

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Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit in a federal court to stop abortion regulations from taking effect in Arizona April 1.

The regulations in question say that when doctors perform a medication abortion - the kind that can be done with drugs rather than surgery - they would have to follow the Food and Drug Administration's instructions on the drug label.

The legislators behind the idea said it would protect women's health. But the FDA guidance was written 14 years ago.

Since then, medical professionals have come up with a new regimen they say is an improvement. It's a lighter dose of one drug and allows women to do a part of the procedure at home.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona President Bryan Howard said if doctors are forced to revert back to the FDA protocol, it will be bad for patients.

"You wouldn't want to be told, 'We are sorry, we can't do for you what patients across the country are getting, we have to use the standard of treatment that was in place 14 years ago," he said.

The regulations would also limit the window that medication abortions would be available from up until the ninth week of pregnancy down to the seventh week.

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