Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked a federal appeals court this week to allow state regulations involving dangerous abortion drugs to go into effect, according to the Associated Press.
Rutledge urged the court to overturn a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block the law in March, the AP reports.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit against Arkansas in December, challenging its Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act (Act 577). The law requires abortion facilities to follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines when administering abortion drugs. It also requires that abortion doctors who dispense the drugs maintain contact with another doctor who has hospital admitting privileges in case of patient emergencies.
Rutledge filed an appeal on Thursday with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that the law be allowed to go into effect, according to the AP. The attorney general argued that the lower court judge’s ruling was based on “clearly erroneous” findings.
In the appeal, the state argued that abortion drugs can result in serious complications, including incomplete abortions and the death of the woman. The state attorneys said Planned Parenthood sometimes refers patients who are experiencing complications to other abortion facilities or the emergency room, but it “cannot guarantee another provider will care for the patient.” They argued that the state law is necessary to protect patients in such cases.
Planned Parenthood recently asked to drop its challenge against another part of the law, which requires the drugs to be administered according to FDA standards, Arkansas Online reports. Soon after Arkansas legislators passed the law, the FDA under the Obama Administration updated its protocol for administering the abortion drug RU-486, allowing it to be used later in pregnancy and in smaller doses.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
Here’s more from the report:
The change led Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to ask to amend the lawsuit to remove claims about the old protocol while continuing to pursue a claim that Act 577 wrongly requires abortion providers to contract with a physician with admitting privileges at a local hospital. Planned Parenthood said the requirement is impossible to meet and was included as a means of preventing its clinics in Little Rock and Fayetteville from providing abortions. The clinics perform medication abortions only, and not surgical abortions.
Planned Parenthood also asked to add a challenge to another provision of Act 577, known as the Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act, that requires follow-up visits within 14 days of taking the medication to ensure the abortion is complete. The abortion provider calls the follow-up requirement unnecessary and burdensome to patients.
Baker hasn’t ruled on the request to amend the lawsuit, but the state has said that while it doesn’t object to dropping the claims about the protocol, it does object to adding a challenge.
The most common abortion drug, RU-486, has a high complication rate and can be deadly to the mother as well as her unborn child if complications are not treated. According to the FDA, at least 14 women have died and 2,207 women have been injured by the drug in America.
Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, previously told LifeNews that the abortion drug has killed almost 2,000 unborn children since Planned Parenthood of the Heartland moved in to Arkansas in 2012.
“It is clear that Planned Parenthood of the Heartland came to [Arkansas] to perform abortions,” Mimms said. “In Arkansas they are the primary provider of abortion using the chemicals known as RU486, and they want to do it their way, not following the protocol that the FDA developed when the abortion drugs were first approved in 2000.”