Supreme Court rejects challenge to strict Arkansas abortion law

Supreme Court rejects challenge to strict Arkansas abortion law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a setback to abortion rights advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for Republican-backed restrictions on medication-induced abortions to take effect in Arkansas that could lead to the shuttering of two of the state's three abortion clinics. The nine justices, with no noted dissents, declined to hear an appeal by abortion provider Planned Parenthood of a lower court ruling that had revived the 2015 state law, which sets regulations regarding the RU-486 "abortion pill," after it was earlier struck down by a federal judge. The law had remained blocked pending the outcome of the appeal to the Supreme Court. Unless Planned Parenthood obtains a new injunction from a federal judge blocking the law - the group said it will seek such an order immediately - the state can enforce the statute, one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the United States. Planned Parenthood, which contends that the law would ban medication abortion in Arkansas, also said it is telling patients they can no longer access medication abortions at its two clinics in the state. The only other abortion clinic in Arkansas, Little Rock Family Planning Services in the state capital, offers both surgical and medication abortions. "This law cannot and must not stand. We will not stop fighting for every person's right to access safe, legal abortion," said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president.