The new laws also require doctors to administer non-surgical abortions, which until a year and a half ago had been performed by licensed nurse practitioners, Howard says. These provisions have shrunk the number of centers where the abortion pill can be administered from 13 to three.
"The FDA approved chemical abortion, such as RU-486 drugs, with a specific protocol," Smith, of AUL, says. "It was the protocol that the FDA deemed the safest. What we know is that abortion clinics are purposely providing those abortion drugs in a way that was not approved by the FDA, and in a way that has been linked to the deaths of at least eight women."
Howard says he has sat in a Flagstaff, Ariz., office and told crying patients they wouldn't be able to receive care, "not because the staff on site don't have the skill, but because the state lawmakers took away our staff's ability to provide the care for which they've been trained," Howard says.
"In a state the size of Arizona, in a state where we have as many economically disadvantaged women as we do, it's had some real impact," he says.
Corrected on : Clarified 1/15/14: This story has been modified to clarify that Arizona’s abortion ban applied in most circumstances, but not all.