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…

  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • ADEQ denies C&H Hog Farm permit

    The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has denied a new permit for the C&H Hog Farms' concentrated animal feeding operation near Mount Judea (Newton County). This is a big and somewhat surprising victory for critics who have viewed C&H's large-scale pig farm and the pig waste it generates as an existential threat to the Buffalo National River.
    • Jan 10, 2018
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


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