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Ariz. antiabortion-rights group proposes amendment to alter medication abortion regulations

An antiabortion-rights public policy group is seeking to change the regulation of medication abortion by amending an Arizona bill (SB 1112), the Arizona Republic reports.

The underlying bill addresses regulations for pharmacists.

Amendment details

According to the Republic, the amendment, proposed by the antiabortion-rights Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), includes three provisions.

One provision would repeal a recently signed law (SB 1324) regulating medication abortion pill prescribing practices (Rau, Arizona Republic, 4/20). The law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in March, requires abortion providers in the state to follow the medication abortion regimen that was posted as guidelines as of Dec. 31, 2015. The new law openly disregards FDA's updated medication abortion drug label, which aligns with the scientifically proven, evidence-based standard of care that most providers already had been using in prescribing the drug (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/7).

CAP President Cathi Herrod said repealing the law would give the organization time to assess FDA's rule and determine next steps.

Another provision would repeal a provision in a state law (SB 1318) passed last year that requires doctors to provide medically unproven information to women about medication abortion (Arizona Republic, 4/20). SB 1318 took effect on July 3, 2015, but the medication abortion provision has been on hold pending a legal challenge. Among other provisions, the law's medication abortion restrictions would require physicians to tell women the medically unproven claim that administering high doses of progesterone could reverse a medication abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 10/19/15).

The final provision would require abortion clinic staff to tell a woman who seeks medical advice about the viability of a fetus after initiating a medication abortion that the drug mifepristone is not always effective and to consult with her physician (Arizona Republic, 4/20).