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Bill allowing snap inspections of Arizona abortion clinics signed

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes. The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last week, removes a provision from state law requiring a judge to sign off on any spot inspections conducted at the nine clinics in Arizona licensed to perform abortions.

Appeals court halts enforcement of Arizona abortion drug curbs

By Dan Whitcomb (Reuters) - A federal appeals court sided with abortion rights advocates on Tuesday in temporarily blocking Arizona from enforcing regulations that restrict access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of the statute while opponents, including Planned Parenthood, sought to overturn it in court.

Federal judge will not block Arizona rules on use of abortion drugs

By Paul Ingram TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday rejected a request by Planned Parenthood and a private women's health clinic to block new Arizona regulations that would limit the use of abortion-inducing drugs. The regulations, which go into effect on Tuesday, would require any medicine used to induce an abortion to be administered strictly according to protocols issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and instructions on the label.

Planned Parenthood, Arizona in court over abortion drug rules

By Paul Ingram TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Arizona regulations that would limit the use of the most popular abortion-inducing drug risk harming women seeking to end their pregnancies, attorneys for a women's health provider argued in federal court in Tucson on Wednesday. The controversial regulations would require any medicine used to induce an abortion to be administered strictly according to protocols issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and subject to instructions on the label.

Lawsuit challenges Arizona's limits on use of abortion drug

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Two women's healthcare providers have filed a federal lawsuit in Arizona to block new regulations that would limit the use of the most popular abortion-inducing drug in the state, officials disclosed on Wednesday.

Arizona advances bill for surprise inspections of abortion clinics

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers advanced a Republican-backed measure on Tuesday that would allow unannounced inspections of licensed abortion clinics in a state that has taken some of the country's toughest stances on abortion.

Alabama lawmakers weigh strict 'fetal heartbeat' abortion ban

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Alabama lawmakers will debate four abortion measures on Tuesday, including a proposal that would ban the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is heard and almost guarantee a legal challenge from opponents if approved. No other state has such a law in effect. Efforts by legislators in North Dakota and Arkansas to prohibit abortions after the detection of a heartbeat have been blocked by courts while lawsuits are pending.

US abortions fall to 40-year low

The number of abortions performed in the United States has dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, a study said Monday, pointing to more contraception use rather than increased restrictions on access to the procedure. In 2011, an estimated 16.9 abortions were carried out per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44 -- 1.1 million in absolute terms. It was lowest number since 1973, when the figure stood at 16.3 per 1,000, the Guttmacher Institute found.

Abortion foes rally in Washington, spurred by pope

Thousands of marchers braved freezing temperatures in Washington on Wednesday to demand an end to abortion in the United States, with Pope Francis tweeting his support. The annual March for Life marks the anniversary -- in this case the 41st -- of the US Supreme Court's landmark Roe versus Wade decision that effectively legalized abortion nationwide. "We're pro-life because we believe in the rights of unborn children," March for Life president Jeanne Monahan told the crowd on the snow-covered National Mall, with the Capitol in the distance.

U.S. anti-abortion marchers brave freezing cold in Washington

By Lacey Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of U.S. anti-abortion activists braved frigid temperatures to rally at the annual March for Life on Wednesday, and a top Republican lawmaker vowed that the House of Representatives would vote soon to end taxpayer-funded abortions. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told the rally, one of the key yearly events for the anti-abortion movement, that the Republican-controlled chamber would approve the measure halting taxpayer funding for the procedure next week.
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