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Court Refuses Arkansas Abortion Pill Case

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

The United States Supreme Court has decided not to intervene in the controversial Arkansas abortion pill case.

In that matter, Planned Parenthood is challenging an Arkansas state law requiring those who provide "medication abortions" to have a contractual relationship with a doctor that has admitting privileges at a local hospital. The challenge claims that the law essentially denies Arkansas residents "medication abortions" as there would be only one other provider left in the state, since Planned Parenthood has not been able to meet the law's requirement. Proponents of law say it's about safety and the state's pro-life politics.

Preliminary Posturing

Some SCOTUS pundits believe that the Court rejected the case due to the preliminary nature of the matter, though the truth may never be known as no explanation was provided. But the preliminary posture of the matter seems like a plausible rationale. Planned Parenthood was asking the High Court to reverse the circuit court's reversal of the district court's issuance of a preliminary injunction blocking the law.

The federal appellate panel reversed the injunction and remanded the matter due to the record lacking numerical data on how many women would be unduly burdened if the law were to go into effect. Planned Parenthood sought an en banc rehearing, and after that was denied, sought cert. before the High Court. After the High Court petition was been rejected, Planned Parenthood filed an emergency motion to renew the preliminary injunction at the district court.

As noted on SCOTUSblog, another controversial abortion case involving a pregnant teen, the Azar v. Garza case, has been conferenced by SCOTUS several times already, but has not made it out of conference.

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