The judges said prohibiting anyone but a licensed physician from surgically terminating a pregnancy does not impose undue restrictions on a woman's constitutional right to choose.
Judge Peter Swann, writing for the unanimous court, said the facts that nurse practitioners are specifically trained to do the procedure, are available in rural areas where Planned Parenthood does not have doctors, and have a comparable safety record are legally irrelevant.
The court also upheld laws requiring a woman to meet personally with the surgeon 24 hours before an abortion and for parental-consent forms for minors to be notarized, and allowing medical personnel, including pharmacists, to opt out of any participation in an abortion.....
The injunction, however, remains in place to allow time for Planned Parenthood Arizona to decide whether to appeal, and for the Supreme Court to decide whether to review the ruling.
But Thursday's decision, unless overturned, has broader implications.
The appellate court said a law can be struck down only if it places an "undue burden" on a woman's right to abortion. They said the fact it may place some burden on women is not enough.
The board of Central Health (a health district in Texas) voted unanimously to stop funding abortions for the residents of Travis County after a new state passed which would cut off their funding if they continued to fund abortions.
After convening behind closed doors, the board voted, also unanimously, to redirect the $450,000 that had been budgeted for abortions toward expanding other services.....
Central Health paid for 720 pregnancy terminations in the past fiscal year , according to the health district.
In New Orleans, a man has been convicted of rape and main piece of evidence was DNA from the aborted child.
Samuel Williams, 58, will be sentenced Aug. 19 to life in prison, after a two-day trial in which DNA evidence from the fetus proved key, along with the ominous presence of the fetus itself.
"This is the greatest thing that has (the girl's) back," said prosecutor James Myers, holding before the jury a plastic zip-lock bag containing remnants of the fetus. "Because this right here will point to this man and say: 'You're a rapist, you're a pedophile...'"
The Charleston Gazette has an interesting story of a Marshall University professor who discovered embryonic skeletal bones in a fossil of a plesiosaur, "a large four-flippered water reptile," which proves they had live births as opposed to laying eggs.
The fossil reveals that plesiosaurs are one of the few aquatic reptiles to give birth to a single, large offspring. That suggests that the creatures may have engaged in parental care, making them similar to dolphins, O'Keefe said.....
The fossilized fetus was found inside its 15.4-foot long mother, and contained a developing body with ribs, 20 vertebrae, shoulders, hips and paddle bones.