Planned Parenthood applauds high court decision on abortion law

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Planned Parenthood applauded the Supreme Court on Monday for declining to review an Arizona law that targeted abortion.

The justices said they will not hear an appeal of an overturned state law that would have excluded abortion providers from participating in Arizona’s Medicaid program.

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The law would have cut off a source of funding in Arizona for Planned Parenthood, which provides preventative healthcare services in addition to abortions.

“This ruling is a victory for Arizona women and their families,” said Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, in a statement.

“The men and women of this state have the right to see the health care provider they deem is best for them. Thousands of low-income women rely on Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and other basic health care. Politics should never interfere with a woman’s access to vital services.”

In 2012, a federal district court in Arizona ruled that a state law violated the federal Medicaid Act, which protects patients’ healthcare decisions.

An appeals court in August unanimously agreed with the district court’s ruling.

According to Planned Parenthood, eight federal courts have ruled since 2011 that states can’t exclude the organization from providing preventive health services to women. In May, the Supreme Court declined to hear a similar case, challenging a law’s ban in Indiana.

Last month, the justices heard oral arguments in a separate case that questioned the constitutionality of buffer zones at abortion clinics in Massachusetts.

A law in that state bans people from standing within 35 feet of the entrance to a facility that provides reproductive healthcare services.

— This story was updated at 12:53 p.m.