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Arkansas defends three pro-life laws in briefs submitted to 8th U.S. Circuit Court Court of Appeals.

On August 6, when last we examined the handiwork of pro-abortion to the hilt U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, she had waited until the very last minute to extend an enforcement ban against three pro-life Arkansas laws. Baker had issued the initial temporary restraining order July 23 preventing the state from enforcing

* Act 619 which protects unborn babies who would be aborted solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

* Act 700 which requires abortion providers to be board-certified.

* Act 493 which bans abortions starting at 18 weeks.

Immediately following Judge Baker's TRO extension, Amanda Priest, the communications director for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, issued a statement:

"Following the court's adverse ruling, the Attorney General immediately filed an appeal to the Eighth Circuit. She continues to defend Arkansas law protecting women's health by requiring a board certified or eligible OBGYN to perform an abortion, as well as Arkansas laws that (protect) unborn life by prohibiting abortions after 18 weeks and at any time if based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis."

This brings us to an extremely detailed and (surprise!) unbiased summary of the 72-page brief submitted by attorneys for the state to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, written by Linda Satter of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The opening paragraphs are particularly helpful summaries:
      Attorneys for the
   state are urging judges
   on the 8th U.S. Circuit
   Court of Appeals to
   vacate an injunction
   that has kept three new
   abortion-restricting
   laws in Arkansas from
   being enforced since
   July 24, the date they
   were scheduled to take
   effect.

      In a brief filed
   Tuesday at the St.
   Louis-based appellate
   court, the Arkansas
   attorney general's
   office presented
   detailed arguments to
   support its appeal of
   orders blocking Acts
   493, 619 and 700, all
   of which were passed
   during this year's
   legislative session.

      The laws, which
   the state calls
   "commonsense
   abortion regulations,"
   ban abortions after 18
   weeks of pregnancy,
   except in a medical
   emergency or cases of
   rape or incest; prohibit
   abortions based solely
   on the likelihood of
   fetal Down syndrome;
   and require abortion
   providers in the state
   to be board-certified
   or board-eligible
   in obstetrics and
   gynecology.


Satter's story can be read in its entirety here [https:// www.arkansasonline.com/ news/2019/oct/31/unblockabortion-laws-state-asks-8th-ci], so let me highlight just a portion of her summary of the state's case.

* "The state's attorneys also argued that the genetic-discrimination law, also known as the Down syndrome law, is constitutional because 'Arkansas is entitled to prohibit abortion practitioners from discriminating against people with disabilities," Satter wrote. "They called Act 619 'a step toward remedying a shameful history of discrimination.'" This is such an obvious and blatant act of discrimination that it would seem only a matter of time before the Supreme Court directly addresses the issue, something it avoided last May in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

* The state strongly defended the benefits to women of Act 700 which requires abortion providers to be board certified--a requirement which Judge Baker dismissed virtually out of hand. "Overall, they argued, she erred in concluding that the OB/GYN requirement's benefits are substantially outweighed by its burdens," Satter wrote. The brief noted
   existing law
   provides only four
   requirements for
   abortion practitioners:
   that they are state-licensed
   physicians,
   that they must obtain
   prior consent from
   the patient; that they
   must keep a record of
   obtaining consent; and
   that they must report
   all abortions provided.

      "In other words,
   prior to the OBGYN
   requirement any
   Arkansas-licensed
   doctor--whether
   family practitioner,
   opthamologist, or
   radiologist--could
   perform abortions,"
   the filing states. "The
   district court then
   declared without
   explanation that this
   was good enough and
   declined to consider
   evidence that, unlike
   those physicians, all
   OBGYNs are 'trained
   in 1st and 2nd trimester
   evacuation of the
   uterus,' and to handle
   the 'complications of
   abortion (spontaneous
   or induced).' On that
   basis, it found that the
   OBGYN requirement
   would provide few, if
   any, benefits."

      The brief said Baker
   declared that the clinic
   couldn't comply with the
   OB/GYN requirements,
   and "failed to conduct
   any serious analysis
   of [the clinic's] halfhearted
   attempts to
   locate additional board-certified
   or--eligible
   OBGYNs."


The brief also noted tellingly that since Baker's August 6 decision, The Little Rock Family Planning Clinic has added two board-certified OB/ GYNS, changing the numbers Judge Baker relied on to conclude the abortion clinic couldn't comply with the OB/ GYN requirements.

* And finally the state's brief argued
   "This court should
   reverse, or at least
   vacate, the preliminary
   injunction and order
   random reassignment
   on remand," the
   state attorneys said,
   referring to the fact
   the lawsuit challenging
   the three laws was
   originally randomly
   assigned to U.S.
   District Judge Billy
   Roy Wilson, who
   transferred it to Baker,
   saying it was related
   to similar lawsuits she
   was already presiding
   over.


The Little Rock Family Planning Clinic has until November 29th to file its brief. The losing party is likely to request a rehearing or a review by the full 8th Circuit.

Caption: Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge

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Article Details
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Author:Andrusko, Dave
Publication:National Right to Life News
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Nov 1, 2019
Words:836
Previous Article:Doctors chose not to save 21-week twins, potentially old enough to survive outside the womb.
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