FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aaron Wilder
Little Rock – Today, Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review and correct the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision vacating a preliminary injunction that blocked a medically unnecessary abortion restriction in Arkansas. Act 577 requires physicians who provide medication abortion to contract with a second physician who holds hospital admitting privileges. This dangerous law, if enforced, would make Arkansas the only state to ban medication abortion entirely and eliminate all but one abortion provider in the entire state.
Today’s filing does not immediately impact access to medication abortion services at Planned Parenthood, which continues to offer medication abortion at its health centers in Little Rock or Fayetteville.
“Act 577 is yet another ideological ploy to make safe, legal abortion inaccessible in the state of Arkansas. With a laundry list of medically unnecessary restrictions already enforced, it’s hard enough for Arkansans to access abortion services without the added burden Act 577 creates by eliminating all but one provider in the state. PPGP is taking this fight to the Supreme Court to ensure that access to sexual and reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion is more than a right in name only,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO, Aaron Samulcek said.
The US Supreme Court, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, has already said that hospital admitting privilege requirements are medically unnecessary and unconstitutional. The Arkansas restriction is no different than those struck down in Texas and no more medically necessary.
“Laws like Act 577 in Arkansas have no basis in the standard of care. I took an oath, just like every other medical professional, to do what is right for my patients, and my patients already face nearly insurmountable odds to access safe, legal abortion as it is. Act 577 would only create more harm to the health and well-being of Arkansans needing access to sexual and reproductive health care,” PPGP Provider, Dr. Stephanie Ho, who is a plaintiff in the case, said.