Arkansas left with two abortion providers as Planned Parenthood seeks new location

Arkansas left with two abortion providers as Planned Parenthood seeks new location
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A Planned Parenthood in Northwest Arkansas has stopped performing medication-induced abortions and is looking to relocate altogether, leaving the state, for now, with two abortion providers, The Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains’s Fayetteville Health Center announced Tuesday it will close its doors at the end of July, citing safety concerns dealing with protesters near the clinic.

“We are no strangers to pressure from politicians and individuals who want to stand in the way of our ability to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains CEO Brandon Hill said in a statement. 

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“Ultimately, in this instance, we had reached an impasse. We chose to seek an alternative location that would meet our high standards for safety and ensure we can continue to provide the comprehensive care our patients need and deserve,” he added. 

Planned Parenthood will see its last patients at the current Fayetteville location on July 25. 

In a court filing for a lawsuit seeking to block three laws restricting abortion access from taking effect, Planned Parenthood said it had stopped providing medication-induced abortions at the Fayetteville location in the mean time, according to the AP. The facility had not offered surgical abortions. Medication-induced abortions are still available at Planned Parenthood's Little Rock clinic and surgical services are offered at an unaffiliated Little Rock Family Planning Services clinic, the AP reported. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) in March signed an 18-week abortion ban. It includes exceptions for rape, incest and medical emergencies.   

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop the abortion restrictions scheduled to take effect on July 24.

In the recent filing the organization withdrew the suit's request for an order temporarily blocking the law’s enforcement, AP reports.

“Unfortunately, our decision to move our Fayetteville location impacts our ability to move ahead with this phase of our case,” Hill said, adding that politicians continue to prevent qualified physicians from providing safe services. 

Hill said Planned Parenthood will move forward with the lawsuit and notify the courts when a new location is running and “we are able to resume abortion services in Northwest Arkansas.”

“Make no mistake: We remain committed to providing care in Northwest Arkansas, and we are working swiftly to ensure we reopen our doors as soon as possible,” he said