Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains has announced a news conference next Tuesday to announce new litigation “against unconstitutional state-level attacks on sexual and reproductive health care including abortion access in Arkansas and across the country.”
No specific actions were announced, but there are many to choose from in Arkansas, including a law that outlaws the most common abortion procedure used in the second trimester, thus effectively ending those abortions. The law also also allows a husband to sue a doctor who performs an abortion for his wife. Another law bans abortions for “sex selection.”
The legislature not only attacked abortion. It also attacked family planning by continuing to support the governor’s efforts to prevent any government money from flowing to Planned Parenthood for other medical services, including contraception that prevents pregnancies and, thus, abortion.
Other anti-abortion measures include a 48-hour waiting period; a law requiring that patients be given the scientifically unsupportable statement that a a pill inducing a miscarriage can be reversed; parental consent for women under 18; required burial of fetal remains, and presence of a doctor when an abortion pill is given (these are safe and effective medications given in the first eight weeks of pregnancy.)
Only three clinics provide abortions in Arkansas. Two are operated by Planned Parenthood and provide only pharmaceutical abortions. There’s a single clinical abortion provider.
The spate of legislation here is part of a national deluge of cookie-cutter legislation to achieve de facto what Roe v. Wade does not allow by law — the end of availability of safe abortions and the end of medical choice for women.
Some of the laws passed in Arkansas this year have already been struck down in other states by federal courts.