Supreme Court Rejects Planned Parenthood Challenge to Arkansas Abortion Law

A demonstrator opposed to the Senate Republican health-care holds a sign that reads 'I Stand With Planned Parenthood' while marching near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Several Senate Republicans began to question today whether their health-care bill should repeal a tax on …
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge by a Planned Parenthood affiliate to an Arkansas law restricting how drugs that cause abortion are administered.

The appeal case was rejected by the Supreme Court justices without comment, an action that allows Arkansas to put into effect its restrictions on the delivery of abortion drugs.

In its challenge, Planned Parenthood asked the Supreme Court to review a ruling from the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that had reversed a lower court order prohibiting enforcement of the state law, reports the Associated Press.

Arkansas’ Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act – which was passed in 2015 – requires abortionists who administer abortion drugs to have a contract with another physician, with admitting privileges at a local hospital, who would agree to handle the case of a patients with complications from the procedure. Planned Parenthood has typically condemned such health and safety legislation, claiming it is medically unnecessary and restricts women’s access to abortion.

In its appeal, Planned Parenthood argued its abortionists could not find other doctors to work with them on fulfilling the requirements of the law and that the law would risk abortionists and their colleagues from “being ostracized from their communities and face harassment and violence toward themselves, their family and their private practices.”

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement she applauds the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the appeal.

“Protecting the health and well-being of women and the unborn will always be a priority,” she said. We are a pro-life state and always will be as long as I am attorney general.”

“Arkansas is now shamefully responsible for being the first state to ban medication abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, reports NBC News. “This dangerous law also immediately ends access to safe, legal abortion at all but one health center in the state. If that’s not an undue burden, what is? This law cannot and must not stand. We will not stop fighting for every person’s right to access safe, legal abortion.”

Pro-life leaders, however, say Planned Parenthood’s position is extreme.

“Planned Parenthood demonstrated its abortion extremism when it asked the Supreme Court to review an Eighth Circuit decision that was strongly grounded in existing Supreme Court precedent, requiring the lower court to do simple math to establish how many women, if any, would be impacted by an abortion regulation,” Steven Aden, chief legal officer and general counsel with Americans United for Life, said in a statement.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said it is not in the best interests of women to “give the abortion industry carte blance to dispense Mifeprex for self-abortion.”

“Studies have shown that emergency room admissions to deal with issues like hemorrhaging and incomplete abortion are common after administration of Mifeprex,” she added. “The willingness of Planned Parenthood and other elements of the industry to abandon women to this level of risk reveals their true priority: Abortion, not the health and safety of women.”

Similarly, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said, “Planned Parenthood’s efforts to remove even the most minimal protections for women and babies continue to reveal the fact that their top priority is profit, not healthcare.”

The Planned Parenthood clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville only provide abortions via drugs, while one other clinic in Little Rock performs surgical abortions and is not affected by the law.

The case is Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley No. 17-935 at the Supreme Court of the United States.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.