Federal Judge Issues Late-Night Ruling Against Pro-Life Laws

July 31, 2017 | Posted in Abortion | By

Shortly before midnight on Friday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction against four pro-life laws the Arkansas Legislature passed last spring.

We have written extensively about these laws and what they do. You can read our response to the ACLU’s legal challenges against the laws here.

It is unfortunate one judge would take it upon herself to block good laws the Arkansas Legislature passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

These laws help prevent companies from buying or selling organs harvested from aborted babies. They ensure aborted babies are respectfully buried or cremated. They help protect minors who may be victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. They require doctors to request at least some of a woman’s medical records before performing an abortion. And they prohibit surgical abortion procedures in which an unborn baby is dismembered.

Judge Baker’s decision to block these four good, pro-life laws came just hours after a panel of judges from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a similar order Judge Baker handed down last year blocking a pro-life law from 2015. The panel faulted Judge Baker for failing to estimate the number of women who would actually be affected by the law before she decided to block it.

The Attorney General’s office has indicated it will appeal Judge Baker’s decision to block these four pro-life laws. Given the Eighth Circuit’s recent history, there seems to be a good possibility these laws will be reinstated by a higher court down the road.

Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Here’s a Timeline on Pro-Life Act 577 of 2015, The Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act

July 31, 2017 | Posted in Abortion | By

On Friday afternoon a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court order that had blocked a pro-life law passed in 2015.

The pro-life law is Act 577 of 2015, the Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act.

This good, pro-life law requires abortionists to follow FDA protocols when dispensing abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486; it also requires them to contract with a physician who has admitting privileges at a local hospital–just in case the woman experiences any complications from the abortion.

A lot of people may be surprised to learn the Eighth Circuit is just now weighing in on legislation passed more than two years ago. Here’s a very brief timeline of events from March of 2015 through last Friday:

  • March 20, 2015: The Arkansas Legislature passed Act 577, the Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act. The law was set to go into effect January 1, 2016.
  • December 30, 2015: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which has two clinics in Arkansas, filed a lawsuit saying it had been unable to find a doctor with admitting privileges at a local hospital to handle emergencies resulting from these chemical abortions, and that Planned Parenthood would no longer may be able to perform drug-induced abortions in Arkansas if Act 577 were enforced.
  • December 31, 2015: U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a temporary restraining order blocking the law just hours before it was set to go into effect. A few weeks later Judge baker followed up by issuing a preliminary injunction blocking the law from being enforced.
  • August 28, 2016: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a brief asking the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Judge Baker’s preliminary injunction against the law.
  • September 21, 2016: A three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Attorney General Rutledge’s arguments in court.
  • July 28, 2017: The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned Judge Baker’s preliminary injunction and sent the issue back down to her court. The panel noted that the judge failed to estimate the number of women who would be burdened by Act 577 before blocking the law. Among other things, the panel wrote, “In the present case, the district court abused its discretion because it failed to consider whether Planned Parenthood satisfied the requirements necessary to sustain a facial challenge to an abortion regulation.”

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Panel Lifts Injunction Against Pro-Life Law

July 28, 2017 | Posted in Abortion | By

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 28, 2017

On Friday a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a lower court’s order that had blocked the Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act of 2015.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “We are very pleased with this ruling. This good law requires abortion providers to follow FDA protocols when dispensing abortion drugs and to maintain an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges at a local hospital. A lower court blocked this good law from going into effect last year. Today the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed that lower court’s order.

“We look forward to other good court decisions like this one as this case continues.”

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Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.