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Federal judge to rule on Arkansas abortion pill restriction

On Thursday, a federal judge issued a temporary stay against an Arkansas law that would restrict access to the abortion pill. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker will hear continue to hear arguments regarding the law, which passed the Arkansas legislature in March, and was set to take effect Friday.

The law requires any organization or individual dispensing the abortion pill to maintain a contract relationship with a doctor who has hospital admitting privileges. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which operates two clinics in Arkansas, filed a lawsuit against the legislation on Monday.

Maithreyi Ratakonda, an attorney for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, argued against the legislation…

These provisions are unconstitutional because they will significantly reduce abortion access in the state, leaving only one abortion provider, and they will eliminate entirely the option of medication abortion.

Colin Jorgensen, an Arkansas assistant attorney general, told the judge that Planned Parenthood “made a strategic decision to file this lawsuit at the eleventh hour in the hope that the defendants would be unable to mount a full-throated defense.”

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who signed the bill into law, says he hopes the judge will uphold the law after hearing further arguments.

“Planned Parenthood places a premium on the convenience of abortion providers over the health and welfare of women seeking these procedures,” Hutchinson said.

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