Cathi’s Clown signs ‘junk science’ abortion bill – cue the lawyers

Arizona’s unelected “31st Senator,” high-priced lobbyist and campaign adviser to Dicey Doug Ducey,  Cathi Herrod, got her quid pro quo yesterday — Il Duce signed the unconstitutional “junk science” abortion bill from the Christian Taliban Center for Arizona Policy (CAP). Cathi Herrod posted a “special access” photo of Dicey Doug Ducey signing her bill.

Screenshot from 2015-03-31 06:39:15

This is Cathi Herrod’s less than subtle way of signaling to everyone that “I own this governor.” Ducey is Cathi’s Clown. And that “protecting taxpayers” part is pure bullshit — taxpayers will be subsidizing the defense of this unconstitutional law in court on behalf of Cathi Herrod and the CAP (they will be out of pocket nothing).

When do Arizona taxpayers get to enact into law their objection to subsidizing Cathi Herrod and the CAP’s unconstitutional bills? If the Tea-Publican lapdogs of the Christian Taliban in the Arizona legislature are going to roll over and enact these CAP bills, shouldn’t there be a provision in the bill that says “Cathi Herrod and the CAP shall personally bear all litigation expenses and attorneys fees in defense of this bill in court,” and that “no state funds shall be expended in defense of this bill”? It seems only fair and just.

Just last week the U.S. District Court for Wisconsin was the latest federal court to strike down the “admitting privileges” provision in this bill as unconstitutional.  Judge rules Wisconsin abortion law unconstitutional:

A federal judge on Friday struck down a Wisconsin law requiring doctors performing abortions to get hospital-admitting privileges, concluding that the measure was enacted primarily to provide an obstacle for women seeking abortions.

U.S. District Judge William Conley, who earlier had put the law on hold, ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. He issued a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement.

“The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin,” Conley wrote.

* * *

In the first words of his strongly worded decision, Conley made it clear that he had little regard for the new law. The decision was issued late Friday after a trial in Conley’s Madison court.

“For reasons left largely unexplained at the time of its enactment, the Wisconsin Legislature passed and Gov. Walker signed (the bill),” known as Act 37, Conley wrote.

Conley noted the requirement provided only “marginal benefit” to a woman’s health while violating her rights to liberty and privacy as guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.

“In particular,” Conley wrote “the State has failed to meet its burden of demonstrating…a link between the admitting privileges requirement and a legitimate health interest.”

In his ruling, Conley wrote that the health advantage provided by the measure “is substantially outweighed by the burden this requirement will have on women’s health outcomes due to restricted access to abortions in Wisconsin.”

“While the court agrees with the State that sometimes it is necessary to reduce access to ensure safety, this is decidedly not one of those instances,” Conley wrote. “In particular, the State has failed to meet its burden of demonstrating through credible evidence a link between the admitting privileges requirement and a legitimate health interest.”

The same reasoning holds true for the nearly identical admitting privileges provision in SB 1318. Your Arizona legislature voted for this bill knowing full well that it is unconstitutional. The “forced birth” zealots in Arizona’s lawless legislature did not care, as they have repeatedly demonstrated over the years. And Cathi’s Clown has followed suit.

According to the Washington Post, Arizona became the first state in the nation to enact this “junk science” provision of this bill. This provision will statutorily require doctors to violate their professional code of ethics, and almost certainly put them at risk with their professional liability insurance carrier.

Ilana Addis, M.D., chairwoman of the Arizona Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Julie Kwatra, M.D., legislative chair of the Arizona Section of ACOG, posted this opinion at the Arizona Capitol Times yesterday. Patients should not be subjected to dubious medical practices:

This anti-women’s healthcare bill is egregious for many reasons, but its provision on so-called medical abortion reversal is tantamount to quackery.

The provision would require physicians to counsel their patients that a medication abortion can possibly be reversed once initiated; it also requires that the Arizona Department of Health Services website provide information on medication abortion reversal including referrals to physicians who claim to have success with this unproven practice.

The problem is that so-called medical abortion reversal is not FDA approved and has no good evidence to support it.

To have a medical abortion, a woman must take two drugs:  mifepristone, followed 48 hours later by misoprostol.  The advocates of abortion reversal claim that if a patient takes the first medication and wants to halt the process, then she would be referred to a physician who gives her high doses of progesterone to continue the pregnancy.

Firstly, it should be noted that mifepristone when taken alone has a high failure rate, somewhere in the range of 46%.  So if a woman decided not to continue the process, her pregnancy would continue over 50% of the time without any additional medications.  There are no good, evidence-based studies on using additional progesterone to reverse abortions.  The physicians who claim to do this do not work from any standard protocols, and, if they give high doses of progesterone to these patients, are not practicing according to the standard of care.

Women’s healthcare should be practiced by experts in the field and standards should be dictated by our national college.  Medical care should not be decided by legislators, and certainly not by the special interest groups who pushed this legislation.

It is blatantly wrong for the State of Arizona to force doctors to counsel their patients about voodoo medicine, and wrong for the Department of Health Services to sanction these practices by publishing this information on their website.  The rare woman who does regret her choice should not have to be subjected to unproven doses of an unnecessary hormone.

Is the patient going to bear the cost of this dubious treatment?  Will insurance companies and AHCCCS pay for up to 17 excess office visits and injections that are non-evidenced based?

Abortion is an unfortunate fact of life.  What we all want is for it to be as rare as possible.  The evidence for that is indisputable:  Minimize unplanned pregnancies with comprehensive, evidence-based sexual education and access to contraception.

Not with junk science.

Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, pointed out that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has concluded there is no medical basis for the provision. Ducey signs law blocking insurance for some elective abortions:

“We will certainly consider all of our options, including litigation, to prevent Arizona women from being subject to this dangerous bill that forces physicians to promote unproven and medically unsanctioned practices,” he said in his own statement.

Cue the lawyers. Planned Parenthood will win, again. And Arizona taxpayers will subsidize Cathi Herrod and the CAP for the defense of this unconstitutional bill.

8 responses to “Cathi’s Clown signs ‘junk science’ abortion bill – cue the lawyers

  1. Frances Perkins

    One constant about Republicans, they worship the Constitution when convenient. When the Constitution gets in the way of their insanity, the taxpayers pay to defend the indefensible.

  2. “Ducey is Cathi’s Clown.”

    I thought Ducey was owned by the Koch Brothers…

    One of the constants about Democrats: What they can’t win in the arena of ideas, they try and win in the Courts.

    • AZ BlueMeanie

      Seriously? Arizona has pissed away millions of state tax dollars on unconstitutional and unlawful legislation, and you want to blame Democrats? You’re just an ignorant troll.

      • Fighting lawsuits filed by leftists who can’t make the legislative process work for them? Yes, I blame Democrats. If you can’t get what you want at the ballot box, you go after it in the Courts.

        • AZ BlueMeanie

          Admit it, troll, you don’t care that our lawless Tea-Publican legislature passes unconstitutional and unlawful legislation because you are a member of the GOP tribe. Eviscerating the constitution and the rule of law does not matter to you. While right-minded Americans would thank those who go to court to stop these attacks on the constitution and the rule of law by lawless legislators, you criticize them, which speaks to your utter lack of character.

          • Don’t be ridiculous, of course some laws need to be challenged. The problem with Democrats and the left is that ANY law with which they disagree is challenged as unconstitutional and unlawful. It is a relatively cheap way to change things you don’t like. The key is finding a sympathetic judge to give you traction, which is why so many of these challenges are filed in Tucson. Even if you are successful only part of the time, it is worth it to you. As to “right thinking individuals”, that just means anyone who agrees with you.

            By the way, if calling me names or cursing at me makes you feel better, then go for it. But if your purpose is to make me feel bad, you’re wasting your time. I figured out a while back that when that happens it often means I touched on the truth and it stung.

    • Donna Gratehouse

      That’s because it’s malpractice for good citizens to allow unconstitutional laws to go into effect. And it’s not like conservatives aren’t litigious. Bilking the taxpayers for legal fees is the raison d’etre of the Goldwater Institute.

      • So, if conservatives file lawsuits, they are bilking the taxpayers. But if liberals file lawsuits, it’s the right thing to do. That is very close minded of you, Donna.