The dwindling access to abortion in Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The dwindling access to abortion in Arkansas

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 11:46 AM

DR. STEPANIE HO: Striviing to keep Planned Parenthood in business. - CASEY QUINLAN/THINK PROGRESS
  • Casey Quinlan/Think Progress
  • DR. STEPANIE HO: Striviing to keep Planned Parenthood in business.
Think Progress uses Arkansas as an example of the diminishing availability of abortion under laws aimed at de facto ending the practice, Roe or no Roe v. Wade.

There are personal stories of difficulties caused by the state's effort to make access to abortion possible and a reference to the likelihood that things will get worse if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

It’s not just the fate of Act 577 that burdens people seeking abortion in Arkansas. Patients have to contend with a myriad of other state restrictions. The most onerous ones, Ho and Kenny said, are the 48-hour waiting period and the mandated counseling that forces doctors to tell patients about what is often called the “abortion reversal pill.” Ho said she has never met a patient who said the 48-hour waiting period played a crucial factor in their decision, and the information she provides people on the abortion reversal pill isn’t accurate. .

“They can see Dr. Ho and they can talk about what’s real. But to have to present a theory that has no basis is really demeaning too.”

“It’s not scientifically based. That is a theory. And that damages the relationship between patient and doctor,” Kenny said. “They can see Dr. Ho and they can talk about what’s real. But to have to present a theory that has no basis is really demeaning too. That’s really horrible to impose that on someone. It’s absolutely unregulated. People are given progesterone and wishful thinking and that’s really damaging. I know from working with Dr. Ho personally that it made her physically ill to have to describe that to patients.”

If Roe were overturned, Arkansans’ reproductive rights would not be protected as there is no local law protecting abortion access. There are laws pre-dating Roe v. Wade that ban abortion as well as laws that restrict abortions to the maximum extent possible in the case Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute. It is one of the states most at risk of restricting abortion access further than is now allowed under federal law.

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