An Arkansas law that regulates dangerous abortion drugs is no longer blocked after a circuit court found that a lower court judge did not provide enough details to justify the block.
The state and the abortion business Planned Parenthood of the Heartland have been involved in a court battle over the law since December 2015. 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.
U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker blocked the law, but a panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the order on Friday, according to the AP. The panel ruled that Baker did not provide enough evidence indicating the number of women who allegedly would be burdened by the law, the report states.
Here’s more from the report:
The panel sent the case back to Baker and said the judge should look into the number of women who would be unduly burdened by the requirement and whether it amounts to a “large fraction” of women seeking the abortion pill in Arkansas.
“The court correctly held that individuals for whom the contract-physician requirement was an actual, rather than an irrelevant, restriction were women seeking medication abortions in Arkansas. Nonetheless, it did not define or estimate the number of women who would be unduly burdened by the contract-physician requirement,” the 8th Circuit panel wrote. “Instead, it focused on amorphous groups of women to reach its conclusion that the Act was facially unconstitutional.”
A spokesperson said two Planned Parenthood abortion clinics cannot meet the requirements, and would shut down if the law goes into effect.
Last summer, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked the federal circuit court to overturn the judge’s ruling and allow the law to go into effect. 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.
The 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 RU-486, 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.”