Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

SCOTUS leds Arkansas abortion law stand requiring emergency care options when abortion drugs administered

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday that allows a 2015 Arkansas law requiring individuals who prescribe abortion drugs to have a partnership with a local doctor who agrees to treat emergency situations and has medical admitting privileges at a local hospital. This law allows a mother to experience seamless care when urgent, life-threatening complications arise from an abortion. The Supreme Court refused to take an appeal from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed a federal district judge’s preliminary injunction against the law because of a lack of evidence, or even an estimate, of the number of people the law would cause to delay, or not have, an abortion.

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Approximately 19 pages of patient safety information, with cautions and directions, accompany a prescription for Misoprostol, a drug commonly used in chemical abortions. It includes risks of “serious and sometimes fatal infections and bleeding” and the possibility of uterine rupture. However, Planned Parenthood claims that being equipped to provide local care for their clients was “medically unnecessary.” In addition, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists founda wide variation in the drug called Misoprostol. Pills ordered online that were labeled for 200 mcg, actually had as little as 34.1 mcg, with one in four of the studied pills having less than half the dose their label claimed.

The Arkansas bill still has significant hurdles to overcome as the circuit court has returned the case to the lower judge to find more evidence of people who would be harmed by the law. Planned Parenthood claims that this law will shut down their locations in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas, because they cannot find a single local doctor to partner with them.      
“We firmly believe that women who are taking strong abortion-inducing chemicals should have access to local doctors who understand what is happening and can quickly and properly care for their health,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “To diagnose a mother can take valuable and unnecessary time away from saving her life. This law is a common sense way to protect the lives of women across Arkansas,” said Staver.
About Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
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