On Monday, US District Judge Kristine Baker ordered Arkansas not to enforce its law requiring dispensation of the abortion pill to comply with FDA guidelines that it be taken at a higher dosage than abortionists typically prescribe and that it only be administered in-clinic.
Act 577, which also requires any doctor who prescribes the pill to have hospital admitting privileges in place for potential complications, was passed last year and meant to take effect on January 1, but Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has kept it tied up in court with legal challenges.
If allowed to take effect, Planned Parenthood says the law would prevent them from offering the pill, reducing the state to one abortion provider.
Baker concluded that “the state’s overall interest in the regulation of medication abortions through the contracted physician requirement is low” and outweighed by “the threat of irreparable harm to (Planned Parenthood) and Dr. Ho, and the public interest.”
However, as Live Action News has covered previously, these drugs have been linked to several deaths by sepsis and many personal accounts of negative experiences, particularly in a 2011 study finding that chemical abortions carry substantially higher rates of medical complications than surgical abortions. Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains the process and risks of a chemical abortion in this video release from Live Action:
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge expressed disappointment in the ruling but confidence the law would ultimately survive, her office saying through a spokesman, “Act 577 was passed to help ensure that medication abortions are conducted in a safe, responsible manner and with appropriate protections for women.”