December 19, 2011 — Planned Parenthood Arizona is resuming abortion services at two clinics in the Phoenix area that had ended the services to comply with a state law, the AP/New Orleans Times-Picayune reports (AP/New Orleans Times-Picayune, 12/15).
PPAZ in August ended medication and surgical abortion services at clinics in Prescott Valley, Flagstaff and Yuma after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that key parts of a 2009 state law restricting abortion services could take effect. The law prohibits anyone except physicians from performing surgical abortions (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/19). Before the ruling, PPAZ had used physician assistants to perform medication abortions and nurse practitioners to perform surgical abortions.
PPAZ President Bryan Howard noted that the resumption of abortion services at two of the clinics does not address the lack of abortion services available in rural areas (AP/New Orleans Times-Picayune, 12/15). Abortion-rights opponents have harassed PPAZ staff at their homes, which has deterred physicians from wanting to practice in those areas, Howard said. He added, "That means rural Arizona women must still travel to metro Phoenix and Tucson and face significant burdens as a result."
Howard stressed that all of PPAZ's 13 locations continue to offer other reproductive health services, including annual exams, cancer screenings and contraception (Ramsey, Public News Service, 12/16).