An anti-abortion law in Arkansas was given the green light by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, effectively ending medication-induced abortions and closing two of the states’ three abortion clinics.
The law, which passed in 2015, will go into effect this July if no further legal action is taken.
It says that any doctor who “gives, sells, dispenses, administers, or otherwise provides or proscribes the abortion-inducing drug” must have a contract with another specialist who has admitting privileges at a hospital.
The two-pill prescription is used in the first nine weeks of pregnancy and has an extremely low complication rate. Abortion providers and advocates say that the law’s requirement is unnecessary because the procedure is simple and much less complicated and invasive than a surgical procedure.
Planned Parenthood said it would “swiftly” make another attempt to block the law in a lower court and that it would notify patients that the procedure was no longer available in the state.
“Arkansas is now shamefully responsible for being the first state to ban medication abortion,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement. “This dangerous law also immediately ends access to safe, legal abortion at all but one health center in the state.
“If that’s not an undue burden, what is?” Laguens continued. “This law cannot and must not stand. We will not stop fighting for every person’s right to access safe, legal abortion.”
Arkansas has only three abortion clinics across the state and the new law could, effectively, end the abortion services of two of them as they only offer the medication type of pregnancy termination.
Ending medication abortion services that were available at the Little Rock and Fayetteville Planned Parenthood locations significantly inconveniences women across Arkansas. Those seeking medication abortions might now have to search for treatment out of state or travel for several hours.