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Rutledge Successfully Defends Moratorium on Surgical Abortions During COVID-19 Emergency

Says, ‘this decision affirms that surgical abortions do not get special treatment’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to dissolve U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker’s temporary restraining order. Judge Baker created an exemption for surgical abortions from the Arkansas Department of Health’s April 3, 2020 directive mandating that all non-medically necessary surgeries be postponed while the COVID-19 emergency is ongoing. With the Eighth Circuit’s decision, there is no longer a judge-made exemption for surgical abortions. Every non-medically necessary surgery must be postponed. The Eighth Circuit also confirmed the procedurally suspect nature of allowing abortion providers to hand-pick the judge that hear their cases.

“All medically unnecessary surgeries must be postponed, and this decision affirms that surgical abortions do not get special treatment,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Eighth Circuit agreed with Arkansas that the district court committed a clear abuse of discretion in creating a carve-out from state law for surgical abortions.”

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