A federal judge agreed Tuesday to decide by a week from Wednesday whether to allow the state to start requiring a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can terminate her pregnancy.
Judge David Campbell said he will hear arguments next week from attorneys for the Center for Reproductive Rights that the requirement, part of a more comprehensive law restricting abortion, should be precluded from taking effect until a full-blown trial on the constitutionality of the statute.
Suzanne Novak, who is representing the Tucson Women's Center, said allowing any delay, for any period of time, will endanger the health of patients. She said there is evidence that some women won't be able to make a second trip to a clinic, meaning they will be denied their constitutional rights.
But Deborah Sheasby, attorney for the Center for Arizona Policy, said her organization and others who oppose abortion want the new law to take effect as scheduled on Wednesday, the same day Campbell is set to rule.
"These are common-sense protections for women," she said. "They deserve a chance to have full and accurate information before they have this abortion procedure and 24 hours to consider that information."