I have been remiss in covering the bills from the Christian Taliban, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) and its lobbyist Cathi Herrod — sometimes known as “Arizona’s 31st Senator.”
Keep in mind that the following bills are yet another attempt to to replace laws previously passed by our lawless Tea-Publican legislature that were struck down by the Courts as unconstitutional. These Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists don’t care — just change a few words and pass it again! The new bills also stand a high degree of probability of being struck down by the courts as unconstitutional or unlawful.
Cathi Herrod’s Christian Taliban will be subsidized by your tax dollars because the state of Arizona will have to spend your money to defend the laws passed by our lawless Tea-Publican legislature and governor. When the state loses in court it will also have to pay the attorneys fees and costs of litigation to Planned Parenthood of Arizona (or the ACLU), so these religious zealots lose twice. They will simply file their bills with the next legislature and start this insane process all over again.
The first bill, SB 1324 (.pdf), attempts to limit medication abortions, typically RU486, which is far safer than surgical abortions. The bill says doctors can administer RU-486 to induce an abortion only according to the labeling that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That label, prepared by the manufacturer, says it should be used only through the first seven weeks of pregnancy.
Just one problem with this bill: this is not the current best medical practices and protocol used in obstetrics and gynecology. Our lawless Tea-Publican legislature is mandating bad medicine.
In an op-ed at the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) Ilana Addis, MD, chairwoman of the Arizona section, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Julie Kwatra, MD, legislative chair, Arizona section, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , write Arizona Legislature again interferes in medical practice:
Arizona obstetricians and gynecologists are hoping that history does not repeat itself.
In 2012, the Arizona legislature passed a law that forced physicians to prescribe medication with an outdated FDA protocol.
That law forced doctors to practice against the standard of care.
It was disingenuously sold as protecting women’s health. Except it didn’t.
That law was extensively litigated in both state and federal court, at the taxpayer’s expense. It was found in violation of the Arizona constitution and overturned.
Now, Arizona lawmakers are at it again with SB1324.
This “new” legislation is almost exactly the same [HB 2036], with some wording changes to reverse the outcome of the lawsuit. It dictates how a physician can prescribe medication to a woman seeking a medically-induced abortion. It forces doctors to prescribe in accordance with the original medication labeling, which was printed fifteen years ago. The FDA approved this label in 2000, but the protocol was soon updated based on evidence-based studies. The newer protocol uses lower medication doses, is more effective, safer, and more convenient for the patient. This protocol is endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the World Health Organization. It has been widely used for years and is the current standard of care.
Medication labels and FDA protocols are often frozen in time while science moves forward. Changing medicine labels and FDA protocols are time-consuming and costly. Off-label use is common and safe; in fact, the FDA itself endorses off-label prescribing if it is evidence-based. This law, if enacted, would forever force the outdated regimen on patients even if the FDA updates its recommendations.
So what’s the point? The goal of this legislation is easy to decipher: It is meant to limit women’s access to safe, legal, and evidence-based abortion services. It does so by making pregnancy termination more costly and more inconvenient (requiring up to three doctor visits instead of one). Patients would have more side effects. Studies show they also have more complications.
[T]his bill does not protect or promote women’s health. Abortion (either medication-induced or surgical) is extremely safe with a low complication rate. It appears the Arizona women are really not in need of the Legislature’s protections.
[W]e uniformly oppose government intrusion into the practice of medicine, especially when that intrusion runs counter to the standard of care and evidence-based practice.
This law intrudes upon the doctor-patient relationship as well, interfering with a physician’s ability to use his or her own professional judgment for each patient’s unique circumstances. We cannot think of another specialty where the Legislature is so invasive. Can anyone imagine Arizona politicians telling a cardiologist which protocol they should use for congestive heart failure?
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If this law passes, it will again be mired down in litigation, at the taxpayer’s expense.
And it will be 2012 all over again.
Let’s do the time warp again! SB 1324 was approved by the House today and is on its way to Governor Ducey for his signature.
Cathi Herrod was Governor Ducey’s campaign advisor, so not much hope for a veto from “Cathi’s Clown.” Cathi’s Clown last year had the state Department of Health Services file emergency rules with the Secretary of State’s Office to mandate that each report of an abortion now contain “the final disposition” of such tissue from what the agency calls “unborn children.” Governor Ducey joins GOP witch hunt against Planned Parenthood. This bill is headed back to the courts.
Here is how they voted in the House:
Here is how they voted in the Senate:
The next bill is SB 1474 (.pdf), which would prohibit the sale, use or transfer of fetal tissue, as well as virtually all scientific research, even on tissue donated by women.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto (R), was introduced in response to a series of highly edited and misleading videos by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, targeting Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program. (The forced birthers from the Center for Medical Progress have been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs. Planned Parenthood vindicated – forced birthers charged with a crime).
The donation of fetal tissue is something that is legal under federal law. Republicans Were For Fetal Tissue Research Before They Were Against It: in 1993, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle voted to legalize fetal tissue research, even in cases when the samples were obtained from legal abortion procedures, when they approved the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act.
As Jim Nintzel explains at the Tucson Weekly, 10 Terrible Bills at the Arizona Legislature;
Fetal-tissue research, which has been going on for decades, has in recent years shown great promise in reversing the effects of diseases such as ALS and Parkinson’s Disease. We don’t know if fetal-tissue research is taking place in Arizona—though we can say for certain that Planned Parenthood Arizona does not participate in fetal-tissue donation programs—but we don’t think it should be illegal in any event, any more than organ donation should be illegal. Research into cures for devastating diseases is a good cause and shouldn’t be a casualty of a political battle.
The House approved SB 1474 today.
How they voted in the House:
How they voted in the Senate:
The next bill is SB 1485 (.pdf) provides that a program that entitles state employees to donate to charities through payroll deductions is not open to any organization that perform elective abortions. This is an attempt to financially harm Planned Parenthood of Arizona.
A state board controlled by Cathi’s Clown last year adopted the ban for state employees. The bill codifies the governor’s policy.
The House approved SB 1485 today.
How they voted in the House:
How they voted in the Senate:
There is only one way to stop our lawless Tea-Publican legislature from passing these unlawful or unconstitutional bills from the Christian Taliban at CAP, and pissing your tax dollars in defending their unlawful and unconstitutional bills — stop electing Tea-Publicans to office! Stop the insanity!