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Arizona Lawmakers Restrict Abortion Medication

State lawmakers voted yesterday to restrict how doctors can administer a medication to induce an abortion.

The measure says doctors can administer RU-486, also known as Mifepristone, according to the labeling that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The manufacturer's label says the drug should only be used through the first seven weeks of pregnancy. The drug is currently used through the first nine weeks. Supporters of the measure say the restriction is appropriate and will help keep women safe.

Opponents, including Republican Regina Cobb, say that argument doesn’t wash.

"This I do not feel is protecting the women. I feel like we are going backwards in time. And all the evidence-based medicine we've done for the last 16 years is for naught," Cobb said.

Cobb said the procedures now being used by doctors is actually safer than the FDA standard that was adopted in 2000. A final vote on the measure is expected today.

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, contributed to this report.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.