At Little Rock Family Planning Clinic Brian Chilson

Speaking of the Arkansas Poll’s findings on abortion attitudes. Do you think some respondents might want to reconsider their feelings about the Arkansas ban if they knew about this:

A Missouri woman was denied a medically necessary abortion

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At 18 weeks, the woman, whose water had broken, was told her pregnancy was no longer viable and she faced the risk of serious infection if she continued the pregnancy. The Missouri hospital denied an abortion. She was forced to travel to Illinois to obtain one.  Arkansas labors under the same cruel law. Abortion is allowed only if a doctor is ready to say death is at hand.

The feds have encouraged an investigation of whether the hospital in Joplin violated the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Good.

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And from Louisiana, get this

The Louisiana Department of Health refuses to answer questions from doctors about the state’s abortion ban, making it difficult for physicians to determine what medical care for pregnant people might put them at risk for criminal charges.

The health department’s lead attorney Stephen Russo said his agency is not responsible for clearing up physician confusion over when pregnancies can still be legally ended. Instead, doctors with questions should reach out to Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office for help, he said.

Jeff Landry? You might as well seek medical advice or tips on nuclear fission from Leslie Rutledge.

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Several doctors said they don’t feel comfortable contacting Landry’s office for clarification because the Republican attorney general sent a letter to every physician in the state threatening to pursue criminal prosecution if they violated the ban.

“With regard to individual physicians’ comfort reaching out to the AG, I suspect they would not [feel comfortable reaching out to him],” Dr. Joseph Biggio said in an email response last week.

This is the situation in Arkansas. It’s dire. Families will suffer. Some will die. All in the name of the state religion of Arkansas, as defined by the Arkansas legislature.

Perhaps the federal law will override state bans in some limited circumstances such as the Missouri case. But that presumes facilities and doctors with adequate training are available to do the work.

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And this is as good a time as any to mention another anti-abortion case that was due to be tried in circuit court in Little Rock this week. It was a new trial of six out-of-state anti-abortion protesters who interfered with access to Little Rock’s only abortion clinic before the new ban forced it to close. They were convicted in district court, but have appealed their one-day jail sentences and $350 fines on the misdemeanor trespassing charge. Their lawyer, Republican lawyer Clint Lancaster, asked for a delay because defendants charged in Arkansas are facing federal charges for blocking a Tennesse clinic.  One is also charged in Washington, D.C. He said the outcome of the Arkansas case could be used against the protesters in the federal cases.

Judge Cathleen Compton has reset a hearing in the Arkansas case on Feb. 6.

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I invite you to read the tendentious pleading by Lancaster seeking a delay of the case. It is heavy on political rhetoric, wholly irrelevant to the simple question of whether his clients blocked a clinic driveway.

COMES NOW the defendant, by and through counsel, and for his motion states:

1. That this case involves individuals who counsel women entering abortion clinics against killing their unborn child with the hope that their words and actions will change the mind and heart of the mother and save the life of an innocent baby.

2. That, since SCOTUS’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,  the Department of Justice, led by liberal work horse Merrick Garland, has decided to use the DOJ’s civil rights division to prosecute those who stand in the way of people who want to murder their unborn infant children.

3. That, to that end, the DOJ has begun indicting people who are pro-life proponents.

Merrick Garland and the police of Little Rock propose to enforce the law as it’s written.  The district court has done so in Little Rock. Perhaps, someday, a circuit court will do the same.

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If trespass should be forgiven in the name of free speech, as Lancaster seems to suggest, imagine what you could protest without fear of the law. PETA could block the evisceration station at a Tyson plant. A modern-day Carrie Nation could block the taps at the Flying Saucer. Constitutionalists could block the entrance to the Arkansas Senate before the roll call on yet another unconstitutional law.

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