Little Rock – On Monday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued an injunction blocking Arkansas’ 2015 Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act. The law requires abortion-inducing drugs to be administered according to FDA protocols and ensures clinics that perform drug-induced abortions contract with a physician who has hospital admitting privileges to handle any complications from the abortion.
In May the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments over a 2016 order Judge Baker issued against the law, allowing it to go into effect. On June 19 Judge Baker issued a temporary restraining order blocking the law’s enforcement in Arkansas. Her latest decision makes that temporary restraining order permanent — meaning the law will remain blocked for the time being.
Family Council President Jerry Cox issued a statement saying, “This is a bad ruling. This law protects the public health and safety of women in Arkansas. Blocking it puts women at risk. Judge Baker’s decision to block this law means women who experience complications from abortions will have to drive themselves to the nearest emergency room, where they will be seen by doctors and nurses who know nothing about their medical history.”
Cox dismissed Baker’s claim that the law created an undue burden on abortion providers. “Arkansas has about 6,000 licensed physicians, and a majority of them have admitting privileges with one or more hospitals. It is not unreasonable for the State to require abortion clinics to contract with a doctor who has hospital admitting privileges.”
Cox said he is confident the law will be upheld on appeal. “Ultimately, this issue is going to end up in a higher court. Attorney General Rutledge’s office has done an excellent job defending this law. Her team won some big victories in federal court last year, and I believe they will win the fight to uphold this law as well.”