Judges grill Arizona lawyer over anti-abortion law


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two federal appeals court judges expressed skepticism about an Arizona law that disqualified Planned Parenthood and other health providers that perform abortions from receiving public funds for other medical services.

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Marsha Berzon and Jay Bybee grilled attorney Steven Aden on Wednesday during a hearing about the law. Aden is representing Arizona against a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law. Berzon and Bybee were among three judges who heard the case.

At issue is whether Arizona can define who qualifies as a medical provider under Medicaid and ban doctors who perform abortions from receiving Medicaid funding.

Aden argued that Arizona had broad authority to determine who is a medical provider. Bybee said Arizona's interpretation of Medicaid law would open the door to all types of restrictions on providers.

The court did not immediately issue a decision.

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