Frederick W. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H. v. Larry Jegley, et al.
(Revised 9.20.21) This case, filed on behalf of a woman’s health care provider in federal district court by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Arkansas, is a challenge to four abortion restrictions passed in Arkansas in 2017. The challenged laws would completely prevent many people from obtaining abortion care, create intrusive and stigmatizing requirements that violate patients’ privacy rights, and leave the state with even more limited access to abortion. Specifically, the four laws would:
- Ban the standard method of abortion provided after approximately 14 weeks of pregnancy in Arkansas,. The Center is also challenging virtually identical laws banning this method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester in Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.
- Require that patients’ partners or other family members be notified of their abortion;
- Force the health care center to report a teenage patient’s abortion to local police and allow the state crime lab to indefinitely hold their personal medical information; and
- Force physicians to request a vast number of medical records for each patient with no medical justification, violating physician-patient confidentiality and delaying — or outright blocking — access to abortion care.
Plaintiff(s):Dr. Fred Hopkins, Little Rock Family Planning Services
Center Attorney(s): Jenny Ma
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Ruth Harlow, Elizabeth Watson, Brigitte Amiri, and Alexis Kolbi-Molinas, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Breean Walas and Brooke-Augusta-Ware, the ACLU of Arkansas
The Center for Reproductive Rights—with the ACLU and the ACLU of Arkansas—filed a lawsuit on June 20, 2017 in federal district court challenging four abortion restrictions passed in Arkansas in 2017 (see above). On August 4, the trial court granted our request for a preliminary injunction, blocking all four restrictions from taking effect.
On August 25, 2017, the State filed an appeal of the preliminary injunction with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Oral argument took place in December 2018 and on August 7, 2020, a three-judge panel at the Eighth Circuit vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded the case, ordering the district court to reconsider the case in light of Chief Justice Roberts’ concurrence in June Medical v. Russo, our successful challenge to a Louisiana TRAP. We filed a petition for rehearing en banc, which the appellate court denied December 15. We then filed a request for a new temporary restraining order (TRO) at the district court on December 21; the laws briefly took effect when the appellate court’s mandate issued on December 22, forcing clinics to cancel appointments. Later that day, following a hearing, the district court granted a new TRO and, following a second hearing, then granted a preliminary injunction on January 5, 2021.
The State has filed an appeal of the new preliminary injunction with the Eighth Circuit. On May 26, 2021, the appellate court granted a stay of the case pending a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, our challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The preliminary injunction will remain in place while the case is stayed, pending any further developments.
- Feature Story: New Year Starts with a Flurry of Arguments in U.S. Abortion Cases, 1.8.21
- Center in the Spotlight: Ms. Magazine: Federal Court Reverses Block on Arkansas Abortion Law, Citing John Roberts, 8.10.20
Legal Documents – Filings:
- Request for Temporary Restraining Order, 12.21.20
- Plaintiff’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc, 8.21.20
- Appellee’s Supplemental Brief, 7.12.19
- Brief for Amicus Curiae National Association of Social Workers, 3.1.18
- Brief for Amicus Curiae States in Support of Appellees, 3.1.18
- Brief for Amicus Curiae ACOG in Support of Appellees, 2.27.18
- Brief for Amicus Curiae Biomedical Ethicists in Support of Appellees, 2.27.18
- Brief for Amicus Curiae Constitutional Law Scholars in Support of Appellees, 2.27.18
- Appellee’s Answering Brief, 2.18.18
- Brief of Appellants, 12.4.17
- Preliminary Injunction Order, 7.28.17
- Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, 7.25.17
- Reply in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction, 7.20.17
- Motion for Preliminary Injunction, 6.20.17
- Complaint, 6.20.17
Legal Documents – Court Decisions:
- Preliminary Injunction Order, 1.5.21
- Temporary Restraining Order, 12.22.20
- Eighth Circuit Order Vacating Preliminary Injunction and Remanding, 8.7.20
- Preliminary Injunction Order, 7.28.17
- ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights Win in Federal Court, Blocking Four Anti-Abortion Laws in Arkansas, 1.5.21
- Federal Court Blocks Four Arkansas Anti-Abortion Laws Hours After They Took Effect, 12.22.20
- Arkansas Health Care Providers File Emergency Request to Block Anti-Abortion Laws, 12.21.20
- Federal Appeals Court Denies Rehearing in Case Challenging Arkansas Abortion Restrictions, 12.15.20
- Federal Appeals Court Reverses Ruling that Blocked Arkansas Abortion Restrictions, 8.7.20
- Federal District Court Blocks Four Arkansas Abortion Restrictions Due to Legal Challenge Brought by Center for Reproductive Rights, ACLU, 7.29.17
- Center for Reproductive Rights, ACLU File New Lawsuit Challenging Four Abortion Restrictions Passed in Arkansas This Year, 6.20.17