By- Sakshi Singh
On Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit declined to reconsider its August decision that blocked four Arkansas abortion restrictions from taking effect.
• The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the measures on behalf of Dr. Frederick Hopkins, a Little Rock abortion provider.
• The measures, which could go into effect as soon as December 22, seek to ban abortions after 14 weeks of pregnancy, eliminate patient confidentiality by requiring patients’ partners and family members to be notified of the abortion, require health care workers to report teenage patient abortions to local police, and force physicians to request medical records with no medical justification.
• Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas said that these extreme bans and restrictions would push abortion care out of reach to many who need it and brazenly intrude on people’s most personal medical decisions.
• While we’re disappointed the Eighth Circuit declined to rehear the case, the fight is not over. The people of Arkansas have a constitutional right to control their own lives and make their own medical decisions, and we’ll never stop fighting to protect it
• Hillary Schneller, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights stated, “These laws attempt to strip pregnant people in Arkansas of their constitutional right to safe, legal and confidential abortion care. Not on our watch. Our top priority remains to ensure pregnant people do not face any disruption in their access to abortion care in Arkansas.”
Both the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights intend to challenge the Eighth Circuit’s ruling before the US Supreme Court.