The Supreme Court unanimously refused to hear a case that challenged a strict abortion law in Arkansas—delivering a huge victory to the pro-life movement.
Without issuing a comment, the court rejected Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against Arkansas, which challenged the law. The 2015 law issued stricter regulations for abortion clinics, by forcing them to have ties to doctors and hospitals that could assist patients in an emergency and by banning “medication abortions.”
Planned Parenthood had argued that the law was designed to shutter abortion clinics, saying it could leave the state with just one clinic that performed the procedure. Arkansas currently has three abortion clinics, including two that are run by Planned Parenthood.
The two Planned Parenthood clinics, however, only “medication abortion,” rather than surgical, which would be forced to stop the procedure under the new law. Arkansas has claimed that “medication abortions” are riskier procedures, since the final dose of the drug is administered at home without doctors present.
Just 14% of abortions in Arkansas are medication-based, rather than surgical.
Planned Parenthood attorneys told the Supreme Court that the law “would make Arkansas the only state to effectively ban medication abortion, a common method of early abortion that has been safely used by over two million American women since its approval in 2000.”
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court—including the four liberal justices—allowed the law to stand.