WASHINGTON – The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal to Arkansas’ restrictive abortion laws, thus making medication based abortions unavailable in the state for the time being.

The Washington Post reports today that the law that requires prescribing doctors to contract with a doctor who has hospital privileges is the regulation in question. Currently, two of the three abortion clinics in the state were offering medication only services, which leaves only one abortion clinic left in the state in Little Rock, offering only surgical procedures.

“Arkansas is now shamefully responsible for being the first state to ban medication abortion,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement. “This dangerous law also immediately ends access to safe, legal abortion at all but one health center in the state,” Laguens said. “If that’s not an undue burden, what is? This law cannot and must not stand. We will not stop fighting for every person’s right to access safe, legal abortion.”

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Tuesday that today’s action – or maybe inaction by the Supreme Court is welcome news.

“As attorney general, I have fully defended this law at every turn and applaud the Supreme Court’s decision against Planned Parenthood today,” said  Rutledge. “Protecting the health and well-being of women and the unborn will always be a priority. We are a pro-life state and always will be as long as I am attorney general.”

Planned Parenthood says they will re-try the case in a lower court. If nothing changes, Arkansas will be one of seven states to only have one abortion clinic within its’ borders.


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