However, today they handed down a decision concerning the right of a state to restrict medication abortions, which are generally carried out using pills rather than an invasive procedure. This ruling, concerning a Planned Parenthood case, struck a strong stance for the rights of states to require reasonable safety precautions from abortion providers, in a move that shocked many.
The state of Arkansas recently passed a law, requiring that facilities which provide abortions, even abortions induced with the use of medication, must have a contract with a legitimate physician who has admitting privileges at a local hospital, and who would agree to handle the treatment of any patient who experienced complications from the process.
Many states have similar laws concerning abortion providers. After all, abortions, whether chemically or physically induced, are not a natural thing, and they can be extremely traumatic for the human body.
States like Texas and many other more right-leaning locales have required that abortion providers have a contracted doctor with the ability to admit patients to a local hospital simply to avoid any serious complications from leading to long-term damage to the patient, or even death.
PP and its local affiliates in Arkansas took umbrage at the idea that they should have any sort of responsibility for the outcome of the procedures and regimens that they offer, and attempted to appeal the law repeatedly.
Lower courts blocked enforcement of the law, pending appeals to higher courts. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was prepared to reverse that injunction, but when Planned Parenthood and its affiliates in the state appealed to the Supreme Court, they left the injunction in place.
The abortion-providing organization has promised to continue the fight to ensure that they can offer abortion services without being required to have way to treat women who suffer from life-threatening complications.
However, whether they like it or not, they will be bound by the law of the state of Arkansas while they attempt to either find practicing physicians who will work with them on a contractual basis, or they continue to appeal the ruling in some other way.
The leading abortion provider in the United States argued that if the law was allowed to stand, Arkansas would be the only state in the country where women would not be able to access the two most common medicines for ending abortions. Those medicines are mifepristone and misoprostol.
Mifepristone makes it much more difficult for the growing fetus to attach to the uterine wall.
Misoprostol, on the other hand, essentially forces the body to miscarry and ‘expel’ (to use their terms) the fetus.
There were three abortion clinics in the state where Planned Parenthood offered services. Of those, they were able to offer this combination of medications at their locations in Fayetteville and Little Rock.
However, they warn that this law could conceivably put them out of business, and leave women in the state without an option, blocking their ‘right’ to an abortion.
Planned Parenthood and its legal allies have suggested that the law could very well result in the end of medication-induced abortions in the state.
They said that they could not find a qualified obstetrician in either city willing to work with them and handle hospital admissions if complications arise.
The organization suggests that the safety concerns the state’s law aims to solve present an ‘undue burden’ to the ‘right’ to an abortion, and that therefore they are unconstitutional.
However, that seems like an unusually expansive view of ‘rights’ from an organization that often comments on enumerated rights like the right to keep and bear arms with disdain.
Planned Parenthood and its legal team also suggested that the legislation was very similar to a Texas law which the Supreme Court struck down in 2016.
It’s hard not to find some amount of irony in the fact that the famously leftist group is complaining about measures introduced to ensure the safety of the women they claim to serve.
After all, they generally claim that they offer ‘women’s health services,’ although somehow that tends to involve only services related to, or legally required in order to carry out, abortions.
Surely, if they’re worried about ‘women’s health,’ they would find an appropriate physician in the area with the proper relationship to a local hospital, in order to safeguard the health of a woman they provided services to.