COVID-19: Arkansas’s halt on surgical abortions upheld by court

Arkansas is allowed to cease most surgical abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, an appeals court has ruled.

The court overturned a previous ruling which had temporarily stopped the change from taking effect – enabling non-emergency abortions to continue at Arkansas’s only surgical abortion clinic.

Following the decision, Arkansas’s Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced: “All medically unnecessary surgeries must be postponed, and this decision affirms that surgical abortions do not get special treatment.”


Senator Tom Cotton welcomed the decision, saying: “Medical resources — especially during a pandemic — should be used to preserve life, not end it.

“The 8th Circuit Court upheld the rule of law, rightly supporting Arkansas’s decision to dedicate its healthcare system to saving the lives of Arkansans.”

Medical abortions, whereby a pregnancy is terminated by medication, are unaffected by the ruling.

‘Vested interest’

This comes as pro-abortion organisations in Europe have been claiming that abortions are “essential healthcare”, pushing to allow access to abortion through telemedicine, and removing waiting times and requirements for authorisation from more than one doctor.

A joint statement signed by groups including abortion giant British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Amnesty International pushed for European governments to roll back abortion safeguards.

It claimed that women should be allowed to take abortion pills at home and that waiting periods between requesting an abortion and having one should be removed.

John Smeaton, Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), called it “a repulsive but predictable attempt to use a global pandemic to further their anti-life, pro-abortion agenda”. He added that the signatories have “a vested interest in expanding abortion wherever possible to promote, safeguard and expand their business”.


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