Apr 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Court allows Arkansas to ban abortions during coronavirus pandemic

Arkansas State Capitol building
Arkansas State Capitol building. Photo: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Arkansas is allowed to ban most surgical abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

The big picture: Other red states have sought to block abortion clinics from operating during the coronavirus pandemic and have found their bans being challenged in court.

  • In Texas, a federal appeals court ruled that clinics can administer medication abortions as the state continues to try to ban abortions during the pandemic.
  • In Tennessee, a federal judge ruled the state must continue allowing abortions.

Arkansas' only surgical abortion clinic is allowed to carry out the procedure if it protects the life or health of the mother.

What they're saying: The appeal court stated in its ruling that the Arkansas Health Department’s “directive is a legally valid response to the circumstances confronted by the Governor and state health officials.”

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