Two abortion clinics in Arkansas face orders of suspension after the Department of Health found that they had violated the state’s health codes.
Planned Parenthood of Fayetteville and Little Rock Family Planning Services failed their annual inspection reports after the state’s Department of Health (DOH) released documents, ABC News reports. The Planned Parenthood clinic consistently used cloth booties, which cannot be properly disinfected, and the Little Rock clinic failed to list the Red Cross as an emergency medical care provider, both constituting violations of state law.
Following the abortion clinics’ violations, the DOH issued notices of suspension according to a 2017 Arkansas law — Act 383 — which takes away the licenses of abortion clinics that fall short upon inspection. Anything from unsafe health standards to incomplete phone books or disheveled furniture that do not meet Health Department standards constitutes a violation.
The law, which has been in effect since Aug. 1, applies to abortion clinics only rather than all state-regulated health clinics, which are given time to remedy their shortcomings upon failed inspection, according to Arkansas Online. The notices of suspension issued to the two abortion clinics are the first since the law went into effect. (RELATED: Arkansas Judge To Decide On Strict Abortion Clinic Regulations).
“Even if plaintiffs are able to avoid a licensure suspension actually going into effect, issuance of the notices of suspension itself threatens to harm plaintiffs’ reputations,” said an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Planned Parenthood and Little Rock Family Planning, ABC News reports.
“Abortion providers now face unduly harsh licensing penalties for any minor deficiency,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains interim president, Aaron Samulcek, said in a statement, expressing anger over the state’s following through on its promise to suspend operations of clinics that violate the law.
The suspension of the clinics comes after American Life Leagues released a report Thursday showing that Planned Parenthood now operates only 597 abortion clinics in the U.S. after 32 clinics closed in 2017. Planned Parenthood has closed 36 percent of their clinics since 1995. (RELATED: Here’s How Many Planned Parenthood Clinics Closed In 2017).
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