Back to News & Commentary

Why Is Arizona Forcing Doctors to Lie to Women Who Need Abortions?

"Lies" on a lie detector machine
"Lies" on a lie detector machine
Andrew Beck,
Senior Staff Attorney, Reproductive Freedom Project,
Share This Page
June 4, 2015

Ask yourself this question: Should the government be able to force your doctor to lie to you about medical care?

You are probably thinking that this is a no-brainer — that it’s too obvious for words that the government shouldn’t be in the business of forcing your doctor to practice bad medicine.

And it is, unless you’re a woman who lives in Arizona.

In April, politicians passed a law that forces doctors to give patients inaccurate information. Under Arizona’s new law, doctors must mislead their patients by telling every woman seeking an abortion that a medication abortion may be reversed.

Simply put, this law would force doctors to practice bad medicine. There is no credible medical evidence that any abortion, medication or otherwise, may be reversed.

That’s why the leading organization of women’s health care physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, opposes Arizona’s extreme law. And that’s why we filed a lawsuit today against the state of Arizona — because allowing politicians to force doctors to violate their patients’ trust and lie to them is grossly unethical and unconstitutional.

But what’s really frightening: Arizona’s offensive new law is just one of a profusion of recent bills based on politics, not medicine, which are aimed at preventing women from getting an abortion or shaming and humiliating them if they do.

In the first quarter of 2015 alone, more than 330 abortion restrictions were introduced in 43 states.

This includes bills from Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina, which force a woman to wait for days before she can get an abortion after she’s already made the decision. The message couldn’t be any clearer or more patronizing: “Honey, you should go home and really think this through.”

It includes new laws from Indiana and Tennessee that impose burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on abortion clinics with the sole goal of forcing them to close down.

And it includes a slew of attempts by politicians in Wisconsin, West Virginia, and even Congress to simply ban abortions.

It’s clear that extreme legislators aren’t slowing down. But we aren’t either.

Our message is clear. Politicians should stop trying to play doctor, because the exam room is no place for politics.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page