PHOENIX, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A federal judge blocked Arizona on Friday from applying a new law that bars Planned Parenthood's health clinics from receiving money through the state because the organization also performs abortions.

U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake granted the temporary injunction to Planned Parenthood, which had sued Arizona to block the law signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in May but whose implementation has been on hold.

"It's not the result we would have hoped, but it's not a ruling on the merits," Arizona Solicitor General David Cole told Reuters after the ruling, noting that a hearing on the merits of the case would take place early next month. Planned Parenthood officials in Arizona did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The organization says abortions account for only 3 percent of its services, which include cancer screening and birth control.

In the past two years, more than a dozen states have taken steps to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and the organization has filed lawsuits in at least six of them, including Arizona.

Arizona does not provide tax dollars for abortion, but backers said the law was needed to make sure that no indirect money was funneled to organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion and other health services. (Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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    Eric Fehrnstrom, senior campaign adviser for Mitt Romney, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/06/03/494238/fehrnstrom-shiny-objects-women/" target="_hplink">said on Sunday</a> that issues pertaining to women's reproductive rights, such as abortion and birth control, were "shiny objects" meant to distract voters from the real issues. "Mitt Romney is pro-life," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "He'll govern as a pro-life president, but you're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election."

  • Talk (Coldplay)

    The Senate will vote Thursday on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would expand and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and make it illegal for employers to punish women for bringing up pay disparity issues. Dana Perino, a Fox News contributor and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/30/perino-equal-pay-issue-is-a-distraction-for-just-48-hours/" target="_hplink">called the equal pay issue</a> "a distraction" from the country's real financial problems last week. "Well, it's just yet another distraction of dealing with the major financial issues that the country should be dealing with," Perino said. "This is not a job creator."

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