Planned Parenthood and Little Rock Family Planning Services jointly filed two federal lawsuits hoping to reverse state laws that subject clinics to abortion regulations, according to a hearing date announced Monday.
In the lawsuits, the organizations argue that a section of the 2017 Act 383 is unconstitutional because it subjects clinics to penalties that do not apply to clinics that don’t provide abortions, according to Arkansas Online. The plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. for an injunction before the law’s July 30 effective date last week, and Moody agreed to expedite a decision on the law’s constitutionality, setting a hearing for Aug. 10.
The first lawsuit was filed in a Little Rock federal court, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City filed the second, challenging four new laws passed by state legislators earlier this year.
Planned Parenthood is challenging the laws based on their restriction of “dilation and evacuation” and abortions sought based on the sex of the fetus. They also reject the laws’ requirements for physicians performing abortions on anyone younger than 16 to preserve the fetal tissue and notify local police, and object to the addition that doctors must notify the teen’s parents about their right to participate in decisions about the disposition of tissue from the abortion.
Abortion advocates say the new laws will make it impossible for a woman to have an abortion in Arkansas, while pro-life advocates insist that the laws are designed to protect underage girls and encourage doctors to fully comprehend a woman’s medical history before performing an abortion.
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