PHOENIX — A federal appeals court today put Arizona's new abortion law on hold, at least for the time being.
In a brief order, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of the law, which governs how medication abortions can be performed "in order to provide the court with an opportunity to receive and consider full briefing" on the issue.
The order runs through at least early next week.
Judges gave attorneys for the state until noon Friday to respond to the legal filings by the Tucson Women's Center and Planned Parenthood Arizona. Then the challengers to the law will have until Monday morning to add anything more.
Today's order most immediately means that doctors can still use RU-486 and another drug to induce abortions through the ninth week of pregnancy. The law, which took effect Tuesday after a federal trial judge refused to block it, required doctors to follow protocols of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which bar the use of the drug after seven week.