ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A statement from Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith sent to Planned Parenthood Great Plains states that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will regulate abortion in Arkansas with criminal offenses.
The letter is an enforcement of Act 180 of 2019.
“Arkansas law now prohibits abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency,” the letter states. “Performing or attempting to perform an abortion is now an unclassified felony and is subject to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.”
Planned Parenthood reaction
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Emily Wales, responded to the letter from Prosecuting Attorney Smith. The CEO said that no abortions have been performed at the Rogers Health Center.
While Arkansans are dealing with grief, fear, and frustration over the loss of rights they held for nearly 50 years, we’re getting letters like this at a health center where we have never provided abortion services. The people of Arkansas, and certainly providers of sexual and reproductive care, are fully aware there is no right in this state to safe, legal abortion.Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains
Wales said that the letter being sent to media outlets before Planned Parenthood was the wrong way to go about this.
“It feels like making a play for headlines and scaring off victims who otherwise should be able to turn to law enforcement for empathy and support,” Wales said. “Instead, we urge him to address actual problems in Benton County including the nearly 20% increase in sex crimes last year. There’s work be done and this isn’t it.”
Planned Parenthood Great Plains has been open since September of 2021. Patients are provided with assistance with birth control, STI and HIV testing and treatment, gender-affirming care, primary care and more according to the website.