ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that an abortion pill, Mifepristone, can remain widely available. Now, local groups on both sides are sharing their thoughts. The Supreme Court decision came after a lower court ruled to place restriction on the pill’s access.
While abortion is banned in Arkansas, people can still go out of state for abortion access. The president of the Young Democrats of Arkansas, Allison Grigsby-Sweatmen, said there is a big-picture attack on reproductive healthcare, and health-related topics should not be court decisions.
“We shouldn’t be having to consult the government for the choices that we know are best for our bodies and in consultation with our doctors,” Sweatman said.
According to the FDA, the pill has been approved by the administration since 2000. At the beginning of April, a Texas U.S. District judge ruled that the FDA should never have approved Mifepristone for use.
Abigail DeJarnatt with Counteract USA, supports the lower court’s decision. While she’s concerned about the potential medical side effects of the pill, she also strongly believes life begins at the moment of conception.
“If we can acknowledge that at the moment of conception that a baby is a person with equal dignity, equally value under the eyes of the law, then that bodily autonomy ends where another person’s bodily autonomy begins,” DeJarnatt said.
As the case plays out in lower courts, Sweatman and DeJarnatt will be waiting to see what happens. Arguments are set for May 17 in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ali Taylor, the executive director of the Arkansas Abortion Support Network, said she feels confident there are Arkansans who are ordering abortion pills by mail. She urges caution to those people since knowledge on the legal ramifications is limited.
Taylor said over 50% of Arkansans needing help getting out-of-state access to abortion are looking at abortion medication.