Like numerous other states, Arkansas placed a ban on elective surgeries and medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. And thanks to a ruling from the 8th U.S. Court of Appeals, surgical abortions will be included in that ban.
April 10th, the Arkansas Department of Health ordered Little Rock Family Planning, the abortion facility which has notoriously maimed countless women, to stop committing surgical abortions. Rather than comply, they tried to get the courts to intervene — successfully at first. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker temporarily blocked the order on April 14th.
But the appeals court stepped in and overturned that ruling. Just like in Texas, the court said Baker “usurped the functions of the state government by second-guessing the state’s policy choices in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The court also pointed out that there have been almost 2,000 cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas alone, with at least 41 deaths. And, the ruling said, “[e]xperts believe that hospitalizations related to the disease have not yet peaked within the state, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers is in short supply.” And the state of Arkansas didn’t solely target abortion facilities; the court noted that they took numerous other measures in the wake of the pandemic, including all non-essential surgical procedures, not just abortion procedures. And by allowing surgical abortions to continue, abortionists and their staffers will have to use personal protective equipment (PPE), which is in short supply.
While surgical abortions can be banned during the pandemic, chemical abortions will still be permitted. And yet the abortion industry and its defenders have vowed to continue fighting. “Arkansas has singled pregnant patients out for denial of health care while it lets health care for others continue as the medical facts require,” Ruth Harlow, senior staff attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement. “This case is far from over.”
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