Jun 20, 2017
Jun 20, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Arkansas, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Arkansas abortion provider challenging four restrictions that they allege impose severe burdens on a pregnant person’s constitutional right to abortion care.
Plaintiffs are challenging the following restrictions: (1) HB 1032, which bans the dilation and evacuation procedure, a commonly used method for second-trimester abortions; (2) HB 1566, which imposes fetal tissue disposal requirements and can be interpreted to bar medication abortion and miscarriage care using medical abortion methods; HB 2024, which makes abortion care for patients between the ages of 14 and 16 conditional on the disclosure of private medical information to local police and preservation of fetal tissue as “evidence”; and (4) the provision of HB 1434 which requires doctors to spend unnecessary time trying to obtain medical records of the pregnant patient’s “entire pregnancy history,” potentially resulting in delays that would deny that patient abortion care. (HB 1434 also includes a sex-selective abortion ban, but Plaintiffs are not challenging that provision.)
Plaintiffs allege that each of these provisions violate their due process rights under the 14th Amendment and seek an injunction blocking enforcement of the laws.
On July 28, 2017, the U.S. District Court granted plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. On August 25, 2017, Defendants appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The restrictions are currently blocked.
On August 7, 2020, the Eighth Circuit reinstated the four laws, citing Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo that the appropriate inquiry under Planned Parethood v. Casey is whether the law poses “a substantial obstacle” or “substantial burden, not whether benefits outweighed burdens.”
**last updated October 1, 2020