Abortion

A federal appeals court is preventing Arkansas from enforcing restrictions on how the abortion pill is administered while Planned Parenthood asks the nation's highest court to review a ruling in favor of the law.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted a request by Planned Parenthood Great Plains to not allow an earlier ruling in favor of the restrictions to take effect yet. The restrictions are part of a 2015 law that requires doctors who provide the abortion pill to maintain a contract with another physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital and agrees to handle any complications.

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Three Planned Parenthood patients are asking an appeals court for a review after a panel of federal judges ruled that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding to the organization.

The three Planned Parenthood Great Plains patients asked the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to reconsider the three-judge panel's decision. The panel on Aug. 16 vacated a federal judge's preliminary injunction that prevented Arkansas from suspending Medicaid payments for services rendered to patients in the state.

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Arkansas can block Medicaid funding for healthcare services conducted by Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 decision lifts preliminary injunctions issued by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker after a class-action lawsuit was filed suit over the state's 2015 decision. She had ruled Medicaid rules allowed recipients to choose among any qualified provider.

Attorneys for three Arkansas abortion clinics say a new state law requiring suspension or revocation of their licenses for any violation unconstitutionally singles them out, while the state says the new restriction furthers its interest in protecting women's health.

A federal judge said Thursday he hoped to rule quickly in the challenge to the new measure, which was approved this year and took effect last week. Planned Parenthood and Little Rock Family Planning Services want the law struck down as unconstitutional.

A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions, including a ban on a common second-trimester procedure and a fetal remains law that opponents say would effectively require a partner's consent before a woman could get an abortion.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights spar with lawyers for the state of Arkansas as they present their first formal arguments in court over a lawsuit challenging four abortion laws passed by the legislature this year.

U.S. Senate Republicans unveil their long-awaited bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. How will it affect Arkansans on the exchanges and the Medicaid rolls? Sen. Tom Cotton helped shape it with a select group in secret. Why has he been silent? Also, thoughts from other Republicans, Democrats and people in between.

Rita Sklar ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Abortion rights groups are asking a federal judge to block several new abortion restrictions in Arkansas, including a ban on a commonly used second-trimester procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block laws that have yet to take effect but were approved by lawmakers this year.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a measure that would impose fines and prison time on doctors who perform abortions that are based solely on whether the mother wants to have a boy or girl.

The measure was signed Wednesday.

A physician performing the abortion would ask the patient if she knows the sex of the child. If she does, the doctor must let her know that it's illegal to have an abortion based solely on gender.

Charlie Collins
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

With very little discussion, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill that bans abortions based solely on whether a woman wants to give birth to a boy or a girl.

The "sex-selection" bill – which opponents say is unconstitutional – was approved Tuesday by a vote of 79-3, with 6 Democrats voting present. It now heads to the Senate.

Rep. Charlie Collins, a Republican of Fayetteville, was the bill’s sponsor and called it the "right thing to do."

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