Abortion

A federal judge has set a Thursday hearing over Arkansas' decision to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Friday set the hearing over Planned Parenthood's lawsuit challenging Gov. Asa Hutchinson's decision to cancel the organization's Medicaid contract. The state's cancellation of the contract took effect Sunday, and Planned Parenthood says it'll affect Medicaid patients scheduled to visit its health centers starting Sept. 21.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and supporters
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Arkansas' cancellation of its Medicaid provider contract.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's ending Arkansas' Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, despite federal health officials warning other states that such a move could violate the law.

Arkansas’ two United States Senators have requested an investigation into Planned Parenthood as a left-leaning media group challenged the veracity of a video that showed officials with Planned Parenthood discussing the group’s role in harvesting organs of unborn babies.

Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark. and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., asked for the look into Planned Parenthood.

A federal appeals court has denied the Arkansas attorney general's request for a rehearing after the state's 12-week abortion ban was found unconstitutional.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request on Thursday. The state last month asked for a rehearing before the full appeals court after a three-judge panel in May sided with doctors, striking down the ban.

The GOP-led Legislature enacted the ban in 2013, which would have been one of the strictest in the nation.

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Attorney General's Office is seeking a rehearing before the U.S. appeals court that agreed last month with a lower court that a state law unconstitutionally burdens women by banning abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a 19-page petition Wednesday seeking a rehearing before the entire 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal appeals court has struck down parts of an Arkansas law that sought to ban most abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the viability standard the law cites is becoming more difficult to use because of advances in technology.

The appeals court noted the viability standard was once 28 weeks, but in the Arkansas case was generally considered 24 weeks.

A requirement for Arkansas doctors to test for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed has cleared an administrative hurdle.

The Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee on Wednesday reviewed rules created by the Arkansas State Medical Board under a 2013 act. It also included a ban on most abortions after 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

That ban was overturned by a federal district court and an appeal is being heard in a U.S. court of appeals. The federal district court ruled that the fetal heartbeat requirement could be implemented.

The Arkansas House of Representatives chamber.
arkansashouse.org

The Arkansas Legislature and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson have enacted more abortion restrictions than any other state so far this year. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Americans United for Life have different takes on the legislation but agree that no other state has topped the six laws and two resolutions passed in Arkansas.
 

Arkansas would have some of the strictest requirements in the nation on how information is provided to a woman before an abortion under a bill endorsed by the House.

Lawmakers voted 75-1 Wednesday to advance the bill to the Senate.

The proposal by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum of Springdale would increase the amount of time between the in-person meeting and the procedure from 24 hours to 48 hours. It would also require doctors to discuss alternatives, health risks and the probable physical description of the fetus.

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