LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP, KNWA/FOX24) — A federal appeals court has lifted a ruling blocking four Arkansas abortion restrictions, including a ban on a common second-trimester procedure.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals vacated the 2017 preliminary injunction issued against the restrictions. The appeals court panel said the case needs to be reconsidered in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision.
The measures had been challenged by a Little Rock abortion provider. Abortion rights groups said they’re looking at options to keep the laws blocked after August 28, when the appeals ruling takes effect.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) today released the following statement after the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated an injunction imposed by the district court preventing enforcement of Arkansas’s law prohibiting “dismemberment abortions”:
“After years of obstruction and delay, Arkansas is one step closer to protecting unborn babies from the barbaric method of dismemberment abortion. Today’s ruling moves us toward a society that respects the dignity and worth of every human being.”Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR
“The purpose of this legislation isn’t to keep women safe or to protect families, it’s to punish those seeking abortion and to block personal freedom. People should be allowed the right to make the decisions that are best for their lives, so that their families can thrive. When someone decides to end a pregnancy, it should be safe, affordable, and free from punishment or judgment. It’s about respect and safety, and the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynocologists agree that unfortunately the restrictions Arkansas legislators passed are not only unnecessary but will actually make abortion less safe. If we really want to make abortion rare, we should increase access to contraception and support working parents.”Democratic Party of Arkansas Christina Mullinax
“We are disappointed with today’s decision, but we will keep fighting to prevent these egregious laws that Arkansas politicians have tried to impose on people seeking abortion in the state to ban or block them from getting care,” said Ruth Harlow, senior staff attorney in the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “All options are on the table to keep the laws blocked after August 28.”
“These onerous restrictions were designed with the singular intent to take away the right to abortion and punish people for seeking care,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas legal director and interim executive director. “This ruling is a reminder that the fight against these extreme abortion restrictions is far from won. We are evaluating our next steps and will continue to fight to ensure these harmful and unconstitutional laws do not take effect.”
Family Council President Jerry Cox issued a statement saying, “This is a very good ruling. It paves the way for the enforcement of these good laws. These laws protect women from dangerous surgical abortion procedures. They help prevent babies’ organs from being harvested and sold to researchers. They expand the reporting requirements for abortions performed on underage girls. And they require abortionists to request part of a woman’s medical history before performing some abortions. These are good laws that never should have been blocked in the first place.”