Arkansas Abortion

A federal judge is again blocking Arkansas from enforcing a law that critics say makes the state the first in the nation to effectively ban abortion pills.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Monday granted a 14-day temporary restraining order preventing Arkansas from enforcing the restriction on how abortion pills are administered. The law says doctors who provide the pills must hold a contract with a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital who agrees to handle any complications.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains

A court case in Arkansas is proving to be a bellwether of abortion-restrictive laws in the region, as a similar case in Missouri attempts to give fewer options to women choosing to terminate pregnancy.

Women in Arkansas only have access to surgical abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on whether a state law restricting access to medication abortion is unconstitutional.

Arkansans seeking a medical abortion with the aid of mifepristone or misoprostol will have to find them in another state.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week not to hear an appeal from Planned Parenthood paves the way for Act 577 of 2015, and conservatives in the state are applauding the court’s decision.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction. Arkansas is a pro-life state, and we will continue to be so,” says state Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley), president of the Arkansas Right to Life board.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court
Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Arkansas to put in effect restrictions on how abortion pills are administered. Critics of a challenged state law say it could effectively end medication abortions in the state.

The justices on Tuesday rejected an appeal from the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Arkansas that asked the court to review an appeals court ruling and reinstate a lower court order that had blocked the law from taking effect.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

One year after the Women's March drew thousands to the streets nationwide, including in Arkansas, demonstrators again made the journey to the Arkansas State Capitol to let their voices be heard. Though this year's March On, Arkansas! March to the Polls and ensuing Rally for Reproductive Justice had numerous callbacks to the previous march, including many signature pink hats, there was a marked shift in tone. Legislators, candidates and community organizers urged the public to channel their dissatisfaction into votes for progressive politics. 

This weekend the Arkansas Capitol building will be the site of two rallies with two very different messages. Those in support of reproductive rights and a larger progressive presence in the 2018 elections plan to be at the Capitol Saturday. While those seeking to end abortion are set to rally Sunday – minus Roman Catholic Bishop Anthony Taylor.

Planned Parenthood
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal appeals court says it won't reconsider a panel's decision to clear the way for the state to restrict how the abortion pill is administered.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied a request from Planned Parenthood to have the full court review a three-judge panel's ruling vacating a judge's preliminary injunction against the 2015 law.

The measure requires doctors providing the pill to maintain a contract with another physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital and who agrees to handle any complications.

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.