Planned Parenthood appeals for stay in court case | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Planned Parenthood appeals for stay in court case

Posted By on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 5:59 PM

Planned Parenthood has asked a federal appeals court for a stay of a previous order so that it may continue to provide abortions at clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville while it appeals. Here's the petition:

Should the petitions fail, women in Arkansas would not be able to obtain a medical (by pill) abortion, either at Planned Parenthood's two clinics or Little Rock Family Planning, the only three abortion providers in Arkansas.

In July, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lifted district Judge Kristine Baker's injunction against a new Arkansas law that requires providers to have hospital admitting privileges to continue providing pills that induce miscarriages in the first 8-9 weeks of pregnancy. This is the only type of abortion Planned Parenthood provides. It has been unable to line up doctors because they fear retaliation from anti-abortion forces.

Judge Baker had ruled the law was an impermissible restriction on the right to an abortion. The 8th Circuit said Planned Parenthood had not sufficiently proved an undue burden on women and sent the case back to Baker for more hearings. But with an injunction lifted, women in Arkansas would only have surgical abortion — performed at a later stage of pregnancy and riskier to the woman's health — as an option. A private clinic in Little Rock, Little Rock Family Planning, that now provides both pharmaceutical and clinical abortions has litigation pending over other state law restrictions aimed at putting it out of business.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains, which oversees the two Planned Parenthood Arkansas clinics, has asked the 8th Circuit for a stay while it petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. If the 8th Circuit refuses a stay for that appeal, the law will take effect. But a Planned Parenthood spokesman said the law will not take effect and abortions will continue until the 8th Circuit has ruled.

Planned Parenthood said it is preparing to introduce testimony from Dr. Stanley Henshaw, a reproductive epidemiologist, who will say that ending Planned Parenthood abortions would particularly harm women who used the Fayetteville clinic. He says studies indicate travel of 100 miles can discourage a quarter of women from seeking abortions. Since women would have to make two trips, by law, to have an abortion in Little Rock — women in Fayetteville would face two 380-mile round trips, or 760 miles of travel.  Add time off work and Planned Parenthood will argue that many women will be unable to obtain an abortion or experience an unwanted delay. The impact of the decision also would likely push women to have abortions at a later stage of pregnancy, when a surgical procedure is required.

Planned Parenthood also will present testimony from its physician, Dr. Stephanie Ho, on the lack of medical necessity for the laws and the impact on patients. Judge Baker heard similar testimony and drew on it heavily for her opinion that the state had gone too far. The 8th Circuit, however, is notably conservative, more so than other appellate courts, particularly when it comes to abortion rights.

In a statement released this afternoon, Ho said:

"This attack on women's health care is inexcusable. If Act 577 goes into effect, my patients will have zero medication abortion options in the entire state of Arkansas. This means they'll have to wait longer to obtain an abortion and will face even longer travel times. This will drive up costs for women and may even cause enough delay that they cannot obtain an abortion at all, which is the whole point of laws such as Act 577."

"For nearly a quarter of patients in Fayetteville, abortion will be inaccessible altogether. Forcing women into a situation where they have no safe, legal medical options is downright negligent. Act 577 was put forth under the guise of improving safety for women, when in all actuality, has the potential to force women to seek unsafe options for termination. As a doctor, this goes against every tenet of my medical profession."

“Laws like Act 577 in Arkansas have no basis in the standard of care. I took an oath, just like every other medical professional, to do what is right for my patients, and my patients already face nearly insurmountable odds to access safe, legal abortion as it is. Act 577 is only going to create more harm to the health and well-being of Arkansans needing access to sexual and reproductive health care.”
In other abortion news, the U.S. House today passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Such bans in state law, including in Arkansas, have repeatedly been ruled unconstitutional. Said the National Abortion Federation:

This bill is another attempt by anti-choice politicians to appease their base after multiple efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have recently failed. Congress should not pass laws that disregard the Constitution or the real circumstances and complications women can face during pregnancy.
All four Arkansas congressman voted for the restriction on women's medical rights.

Tags: , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Suddenly, Rutledge is interested in state's terrible landlord-tenant law

    Crocodile tears from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on the state's terrible landlord-tenant law. Given a chance to do something meaningful about it before, however, she didn't.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Reports filed on casino amendment

    Initial financial reports have been filed by groups pushing a casino expansion amendment and the major financial force so far is the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, which is in the casino business. Another Oklahoma tribe, a gambling machine organization and a Mississippi gambling enterprise also are listed.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    Trump getting trashed for cozying up to Putin, from Fox News to John McCain. Now Arkansans are being heard from. Example from Sen. John Boozman: "Russia is not our friend."
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • Thanks, Cato! I think your quote bears repeating: "I have President Putin, he just said…

    • on July 16, 2018
  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • The state's congressional delegation has the collective backbone of a gnat. Seriously, when are they…

    • on July 16, 2018
  • Re: Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    • I think what guywhore is getting at is that Trump's long game has been imparted…

    • on July 16, 2018

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation