Federal District Court Blocks Four Arkansas Abortion Restrictions Due to Legal Challenge Brought by Center for Reproductive Rights, ACLU
Measures could have effectively ended abortion care for many women in the state
(PRESS RELEASE) A federal district court judge last night preliminarily blocked four abortion restrictions passed in Arkansas this year. The ruling comes a little over a month after the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of Arkansas filed a challenge to the four measures, which included a ban on one of the safest and most common methods of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester as well as a host of restrictions that force doctors to notify others—including family members—of a woman’s abortion. Many of the measures could have imposed significant, if not indefinite, delays on a woman’s ability to access abortion and miscarriage care if they have been allowed to take effect. In short, these laws could have effectively ended abortion care in the state for many women.
- a measure that would prohibit a woman from obtaining an abortion until her physician, for no medical reason, has spent an undefined amount of “time and effort” to obtain her medical records relating her “entire pregnancy history.” The measure would require disclosure of a woman’s abortion to every health care professional from whom she has received pregnancy care during her current pregnancy and any previous pregnancy, and potentially cause an indefinite delay in receiving care,
- a measure that would force doctors to notify a woman’s family members about their right to participate in the disposition of tissue from her abortion or miscarriage. The same measure could effectively ban medication abortion by imposing impossible requirements on women and their health care providers when a woman completes her medication abortion outside of a doctor’s office. Restrictions related to disposal of tissue, such as requirements that mandate burial or cremation of fetal tissue, have been blocked across the country, including in Texas where the Center has preliminarily blocked such a measure from taking effect,
- a measure that would violate the privacy rights of young women under the age of 17 seeking safe, legal abortion services by disclosing her name and additional information to local law enforcement, and could effectively ban medication abortion for these young women.