After the Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge to a restrictive Arkansas abortion law in Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley, NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long issued the following statement in response:
“Arkansas’ de facto ban on medication abortion cuts off access to safe, legal abortion for most Arkansas women. Forcing women to travel over 760 miles, since the state requires two trips, to access safe healthcare is the definition of an undue burden.
“Seven in 10 Americans believe that abortion should remain legal and accessible, yet the anti-choice GOP remains obsessed with ignoring the will of the people and using every tool at their disposal, including the courts, to chip away at our fundamental rights. NARAL’s 1.5 million members stand with Planned Parenthood today and will keep up the fight for our right to determine our own futures.”
This law would make Arkansas the first state to effectively ban medication abortion, despite overwhelming evidence that it is safe and effective. The law would also end access to abortion in Arkansas, except for one health center in the state, forcing some women to travel up to 380 miles, totaling 760 miles over the required two round trips, to access an abortion in state. Women, especially women of color and low income women, will now be forced to bear extra costs such as time off work and child care, with the intention of cutting them off from care completely. Despite Roe v. Wade guaranteeing women the right to an abortion, this law presents an undue burden and is blatantly unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court already rejected a similar restrictive bill in Whole Woman’s Health, yet today’s decision will allow the Eighth Circuit to ignore the precedent set by this case.