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Faith & Ethics: US Supreme Court allows good abortion law to stand

May 30, 2018

PERHAPS some sanity is returning to this country’s handling of abortion.

For the longest time, abortion has been an issue that had been given a quasi “civil rights” kind of status. Because it hasn’t been politically correct, standards, restrictions, and procedures that must be applied to almost every other kind of medical procedure have not been imposed on abortions.

Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 27 decision, in which it let stand a good, common sense Arkansas law, indicates that abortion on demand, for any reason, at any time, and under almost any circumstances must begin to fall under more stringent requirements. That is certainly qualified good news for women and children. It is qualified good news because Planned Parenthood has pledged to lodge further appeals in an effort to overturn the state law, based on some technicalities, so its ultimate fate is still not known.

The Arkansas law in question was passed by the Arkansas legislature and signed by the Governor in 2015. Essentially, the law requires that a provider who offers medication abortions, as two Planned Parenthood clinics in Arkansas do, must contract with a physician who has hospital admitting privileges. The reason behind the law is obvious; if an abortion is botched and the woman needs immediate medical attention, expeditious admission to a hospital is assured. In short, better care can be had and lives potentially saved.

In 2016, a federal judge in Arkansas issued an injunction blocking the enforcement of the law. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the injunction, after which Planned Parenthood appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Panned Parenthood has argued that the enforcement of the law may force the closing of its two clinics in Arkansas. Planned Parenthood cares little about the health of its “patients.” Its concern is largely about profits and the proliferation of abortion as a sick and twisted birth control measure.

Now, we must pray that any other legal maneuvers will result in this good, sensible law being upheld. Lives of women and children will be better protected. And, the value of human life will be better recognized as we continue efforts toward the eventual abolition of the grisly abortion business.

Larry Page is director of the Arkansas Faith and Ethics Council.

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