Last spring the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 383. This good, pro-life law makes it clear abortion clinics must be inspected at least annually and that the Department of Health will shut down an abortion clinic that fails inspection. It also closes a loophole in Arkansas’ informed-consent law regarding abortion.
Despite the fact that Act 383 is a reasonable law, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit attempting to strike it down as unconstitutional. That lawsuit currently is pending in federal court.
Last November the Department of Health inspected a Planned Parenthood clinic in Northwest Arkansas. The department recently sent a letter to the clinic, saying,
On November 15, 2017, the Arkansas Department of Health conducted an inspection of your facility. The findings from this inspection revealed the use of cloth booties which are incapable of being disinfected, to cover the stirrups on the ultrasound exam room table.
It is our understanding this has been corrected. . . . [Y]ou have thirty (30) days from the mailing of this notice to respond with the confirmation or ask for a hearing. If you fail to do so, the license will be suspended. The suspension shall remain in effect until all violations have been corrected . . . .
Infection control is a major concern in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices nationwide. In this case, the inspectors from the Department of Health did their jobs by citing the abortion clinic for using products that could not be disinfected properly.