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Pro-Life Advocate Doesn't Want New FDA Standards Incorporated Into Arizona Abortion Law

After years of lobbying to require abortion doctors to follow federal standards on medication abortions, a key foe now has other thoughts.

It was Cathi Herrod of the conservative Center for Arizona Policy that pushed for laws saying doctors can use RU-486 to terminate a pregnancy only according to labeling approved by the Food and Drug Administration. At the time, that only covered the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Just last week, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill cementing that seven-week standard into Arizona law.

The FDA now says RU-486 is safe and effective through 10 weeks-- and at a dosage only a third of the prior protocol.

But Herrod said she doesn't want the new standard part of Arizona law.

"The pro-life movement is not going to support a protocol that allows chemicals, that allows medicine to take the life of that pre-born child at 10 weeks," Herrod said. "So the FDA protocol as announced on Wednesday is not acceptable."

Herrod said the FDA acted under pressure from groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a group she describes as supporting the right to abortion. She looks instead to groups like the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians Gynecologists, though she concedes they have their own biases, including a desire to outlaw abortion entirely.

"The goals are different. One goal is to promote abortion and to sell more abortions, the other goal is to promote life for pre-born children and their mothers," Herrod said.

The governor has not said what action he hopes legislators take now that FDA standards have shifted.

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