Media Contact

ACLU of Arizona,
Jaweer Brown, ACLU Nationwide, 212-284-7353,

July 23, 2016


PHOENIX — In a victory for women, a federal district court today officially closed a case that resulted in the repeal of an Arizona law aiming to restrict medication abortions.

The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged a law that required doctors to mislead women by telling them that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion — a statement that lacks any credible medical support.

The legislature passed the restriction (S.B. 1318) in 2015. After unsuccessfully attempting to defend the law in court for almost a year, the state repealed the controversial requirement in May. The legal challenge came to an official end today, as the judge signed off on the parties’ agreement to close the case.

“The reversal of this unjustified restriction is good news for women, but it shouldn’t have taken a year in court to convince Arizona politicians to keep junk science out of the exam room,” said Andrew Beck, staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “Lawmakers should recognize that Arizona women deserve high-quality medical care — not political ideology masquerading as medicine.”

The American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposed the law from the start because there is no medical evidence to support the claim that a medication abortion can be reversed.

“The repeal of the medication abortion restriction is a victory for women,” said Will Gaona, policy director of the ACLU of Arizona. “But make no mistake about it: Arizona politicians have demonstrated a laser-like focus on trying to restrict abortion access in the state. The dismissal of this case should be a wake-up call for legislators to drop their attempts to interfere with women’s healthcare.”

Arizona politicians have passed many restrictions on women’s healthcare in recent years. This year, the legislature passed a new law designed to block low-income women’s access to reproductive healthcare — including birth control, prenatal care, and labor and delivery services — by threatening to remove abortion providers from the Medicaid program. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in July challenging that restriction.