Supreme Court won’t take up challenge to restrictive Arkansas abortion law

By Robert Barnes

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a challenge to a restrictive Arkansas law that for now will end the use of medication abortions in the state and could close two of the state’s three abortion clinics.

The law requires doctors who provide medication abortions to have a contract with a second doctor who has hospital admitting privileges. Arkansas contends there can be complications with the procedure, while abortion rights advocates say the law’s objective is to make it more difficult for women to access the two-pill regimen that is used in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

While Planned Parenthood said it would immediately notify patients that it can no longer offer the procedure in the state, the case is expected to return to a lower court, perhaps for a trial on the law’s benefits and burdens.

“Arkansas is now shamefully responsible for being the first state to ban medication abortion,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement.

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