Yesterday is a day I will never forget. The Abortion Consent Act, one of the most important pieces of pro-life legislation ever passed in our state’s 99 year history, was upheld as constitutional by a three judge panel on the Arizona Court of Appeals. The court’s opinion vacated Judge Daughton’s prior decision to enjoin four key provisions of the Abortion Consent Act.

The brilliant opinion demonstrated that the judges saw through the nonsensical Planned Parenthood allegations. The Court specifically ruled that our state constitution does not create a right to an abortion greater than the federal constitutional right to an abortion – a key and correct interpretation of our state constitution.

This victory embodies everything Center for Arizona Policy stands for in our battle to promote and defend life, marriage and family, and religious liberty:

Women will now be provided with full and accurate information by a doctor in person at least 24 hours in advance, protecting their health and safety, and potentially saving the lives of the preborn. Planned Parenthood’s practice of using non-doctors to perform surgical abortions will no longer be permitted by law. Women deserve better medical care. Now they will get it.

Marriage and Family
Parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children are protected because the state will require a notarized parental signature before an abortion can be performed on a minor child. The real life tragedy of a 16-year old girl who received an abortion on the basis of her boyfriend’s email forgery will not happen again in Arizona.

Religious Liberty – Rights of Conscience
Those individuals working in any facility providing any type of abortion and any of those facilities cannot be forced to perform or facilitate an abortion if it contradicts their religious or moral beliefs.

A Powerful Message Sent
Judge Peter Swann wrote the opinion which included some very impactful statements. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the 44 page decision:

On the notarization requirement:
“Because we find no legal merit to Planned Parenthood’s legal challenge, we vacate the injunction against the enforcement of the notarization requirement.”

On the 24-hour waiting period:
“The state could easily conclude that because ‘physicians are better qualified … to impart this information [on abortion] …’ such an important choice should be made in consultation with a physician.”

On the rights of conscience of medical professionals:
“… whatever right a woman may have to ‘chart her own medical course,’ it cannot compel a health-care provider to prefer her chosen care.”

What’s Next?
While yesterday’s victory was monumental, this battle is not over. Planned Parenthood undoubtedly will attempt an array of legal maneuvers to stop the law from going into effect. Keep praying for final victory!

Thank You!
Elections matter. Yesterday’s victory would not have happened without you – the values voters – supporting candidates who value life and support common-sense abortion regulations. It would not have happened without you standing with us in prayer, citizen activism, and financial support. For at least the last 15 years, many of the provisions upheld yesterday had been voted down or vetoed by previous legislators and Governor.

I especially thank Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the Abortion Consent Act in 2009. Senators Nancy Barto and Linda Gray sponsored the original legislation. The litigation team was led by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office, and former Arizona Speaker Kirk Adams and current Speaker Andy Tobin’s office as well as our friends at Alliance Defense Fund, Bioethics Defense Fund, and Life Legal. As always, our allied work with Arizona Catholic Conference was critical in seeing this historic piece of legislation passed into law.

CAP Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby drafted the Abortion Consent Act and has poured countless hours into this important law. She is truly a blessing to have on the CAP team.

Ultimately, glory be to God for the victory. As my favorite Proverb says: The horse is prepared for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord.

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  1. F. Mitchell says

    Great work! Kudos to our great state for truly protecting women AND their unborn children!

    • I agree…Great work! Awesome to see that conservatives understand we need the government to protect us from ourselves. Go big government conservatives!!

      • I believe in less government, personal freedom and liberty. Unless of course you are doing something I disagree with. Then, we need government, made up of ourselves, to save us from ourselves…….

        Reminds me of a scene in blazing saddles when the new sheriff comes to town.

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