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Planned Parenthood Arizona sues state officials to block new law restricting funding

Planned Parenthood Arizona (PPA) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] Monday against Arizona state officials to enjoin enforcement of a new state law that would block funding for PPA's health clinics because PPA also performs abortions. The new law, signed in May by Governor Jan Brewer, would bar abortion providers from receiving public funding for other health services, which PPA claims account for about 97 percent of its overall services [Reuters report], including cancer screening and birth control. The lawsuit claims that the new Arizona legislation violates federal law regarding Medicaid patients' rights [AP report], as well as several constitutional rights. The new law is scheduled to take effect on August 2.

Last week in the district court in Arizona the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona [advocacy websites] filed a similar lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging an Arizona law [HB 2036 materials; JURIST report] that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy unless there is a medical emergency. That lawsuit also seeks an injunction to block the law from taking effect, arguing that Arizona's ban on abortions after 20 weeks violates women's constitutional rights. These are only two the latest developments in the ongoing reproductive rights controversy [JURIST backgrounder].

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