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Federal judge temporarily blocks new Arizona law to defund Planned Parenthood

The US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] on Friday enjoined Arizona from implementing a public funding law [HB 2800, PDF] that prohibits funding for health clinics that perform abortions. Judge Neil Wake declared [Reuters report] that the law may harm women who rely on such facilities for health services other than abortion. The temporary injunction was issued as a result of a lawsuit filed in July [JURIST report] by Planned Parenthood Arizona (PPA) [advocacy website] arguing that the law deprives women of several constitutional rights and violates federal law regarding Medicaid patient rights by restricting options in choosing a physician. Arizona Solicitor General David Cole stated [AP report] that while he was disappointed with the court's decision to issue the injunction, he expects that Arizona will eventually win the case on its merits. The court is expected to hold another hearing on the case in early December.

Arizona is currently facing multiple lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of recently passed abortion restrictions. Last month a federal court issued an emergency injunction [JURIST report] against an Arizona law that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy except for in medical emergencies, which was challenged [JURIST report] by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona [advocacy websites] in July. The law restricting funding to abortion clinics was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in May [Reuters report], while the law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy was signed in April [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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