Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Arkansas abortion law

By Sara Shayanian  |  May 29, 2018 at 11:23 AM
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May 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge Tuesday to a controversial new Arkansas law that blocks medication-induced abortions.

The case, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley, appeared on the court's "Certiorari Denied" list, meaning the case will not get a hearing before the court.

The state law, passed three years ago, says any physician who "gives, sells, dispenses, administers, or otherwise provides" abortion-inducing drugs must have a contract with another physician who has authority to admit patients to a nearby hospital.

In its appeal, Planned Parenthood said none of the doctors it asked was willing to enter into such a contract.

The group said abortion doctors or physicians who associate with them "risk being ostracized from their communities and face harassment and violence toward themselves, their family and their private practices."

Planned Parenthood argues the law is medically unnecessary and allows Arkansas to be the only state to ban medication abortion -- a method used by more than 2 million American women since 2000 and strongly preferred by many, as it's less invasive.

The Supreme Court order, issued without comment, paves the way for the law to take effect in July if no other legal challenge arises.

In Arkansas, Planned Parenthood clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville offer only medication abortions, which can be performed up until the ninth week of pregnancy. The state's only other clinic, also in Little Rock, performs surgical abortions and could continue doing so even once the law takes effect.

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