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Little Rock Family Planning Services v. Rutledge

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arkansas, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of Little Rock Family Planning Services, Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP), and two physician providers, challenging three laws that would ban certain abortions and restrict access to reproductive health services.

The three laws being challenged are:

  • HB 1439 (Act 493)—which bans abortion starting at 18 weeks of pregnancy;
  • SB 2 (Act 619)—a “Reason Ban,” which bans abortion based on a patient’s reason for seeking care—specifically if a doctor thinks the patient is seeking the abortion due to a possibility that the fetus has Down syndrome;
  • SB 448 (Act 700)—which prohibits qualified physicians from providing abortions by requiring they be licensed and board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.

Plaintiffs allege that by banning abortion prior to viability, the 18-week ban and the “Reason Ban” violate their patients’ right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Plaintiffs further allege the OGBYN requirement has “no medical or safety benefit and imposes significant burdens” on people seeking abortion, thereby violating their right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


8/6/19 – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division granted a preliminary injunction blocking the laws from taking effect while the case proceeds.

Key Documents

Complaint – 6/26/19

Little Rock Family Planning TRO Motion – 6/26/19

Preliminary Injunction Granting TRO – 8/6/19