Appeals court declines to enforce Arkansas anti-abortion law | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Appeals court declines to enforce Arkansas anti-abortion law

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 11:37 AM

click to enlarge pp.png
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday refused the state of Arkansas's request to activate a law aimed at putting medication abortion clinics out of business. The law requires a contract with a doctor with hospital privileges for a clinic to be able to dispense pills that induce miscarriages in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The law was intended to put Planned Parenthood out of the abortion business. It only provides medication abortions in early pregnancy. The sole remaining abortion provider in the state provides both clinical and medication abortions.

The state's motion was denied in a single-sentence order without explanation.

Planned Parenthood said in a release:

Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from the state of Arkansas to immediately let a medically unnecessary restriction on abortion access take effect, allowing Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) to continue providing medication abortion services while the legal battle over the Arkansas law continues. Act 577, which is strikingly similar to a restriction the Supreme Court struck down in its landmark Whole
Woman’s Health decision, and which requires providers of medication abortion to contract with a back-up physician who has privileges at a hospital, briefly took effect earlier this year and made Arkansas the first state to effectively ban medication abortion.

Women in Arkansas were left with only one option for abortion services in the state, a surgical abortion provider in Little Rock.

Last month, a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law, recognizing the devastating effects the law had on women in Arkansas, while at the same time, conferring no benefits whatsoever. The state appealed to the Eighth Circuit and also sought a stay of the preliminary injunction, which would allow the law to take immediate effect. Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit denied the stay motion and instead allowed women to continue accessing care while the appeal continues. Although the decision is critical for patients seeking abortion care, the fight to protect access long-term is ongoing.

With Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court raising alarming questions about the future of Roe v. Wade, the battle over abortion access in states like Arkansas has national implications. Kavanaugh has already ruled to limit access to safe, legal abortion while serving on the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Statement from Planned Parenthood Great Plains President and CEO Dr. Brandon J. Hill:

“Though we know the case is far from over, we’re thrilled that this decision will allow women to continue accessing safe, legal abortion in the immediate future. The district court’s thoughtful ruling demonstrated that real harm comes from creating obstacles for women seeking abortion, and the Eighth Circuit’s ruling allows that decision to stand for now. For our patients, staff, and supporters, this is a small but important victory in our larger fight to uphold access to health care. State politicians will no doubt stick to their strategies of scare tactics and obstruction — and we’ll continue focusing on providing our patients with high-quality, comprehensive care.”

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Little Rock school activists announce events for 60th anniversary of Central High crisis

    The group is not affiliated with the official "Reflections of Progress" commemoration of the 60th anniversary. However, at least two of the Little Rock Nine may be joining the group for an event at 2:30 p.m. at the state Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • Trump tariffs hit farmers hard

    Well, the trade war has begun and the early returns for farmers are not good — sharp reductions in the prices for soybeans and corn. You may have heard that Arkansas, which overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump, has some agricultural interests, particularly in soybeans.
    • Jul 6, 2018
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017

Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation