Abortion Information

Judge: Abortion ruling a priority


A federal judge vowed Thursday to give priority status to issuing a written order on the constitutionality of a new state law that imposes mandatory licensing suspensions on Arkansas abortion clinics the minute they are cited by the Health Department for any infraction.Act 383 of 2017 applies only to abortion clinics and not to other state-regulated health clinics, which the clinics say puts the law in direct conflict with the equal protection provision of the 14th Amendment.It would require an immediate penalty for any minor deficiency found during an inspection, even if the violation is for something unrelated to health or safety, such as failure to update telephone records or repair torn chair fabric.Until the law took effect Aug. 1, abortion clinics were subjected to the same regulations as other health clinics regulated by the state Department of Health — such as surgical centers and live-birthing centers.

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