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Another State Set To Ban Non-Existent Abortion Procedure

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Arkansas lawmakers are set to preemptively ban a type of abortion not even available in the state.

Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to sign a bill banning doctors from remotely supervising abortions, a practice unavailable in Arizona or any other state, except Minnesota and Iowa, reported the Associated Press.

In these rare “telemedicine” abortions, women are evaluated at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and then have a video conference with a doctor, who can prescribe a medically induced abortion remotely. The women take one pill at the clinic under the video supervision of the doctor, and then take the second pill at home.

The practice was only ever available in Texas, Iowa and Minnesota, but fifteen states have banned telemedicine abortions since 2010, including Texas, reported The Atlantic. In Iowa, the practice is being challenged in the courts, and if ultimately banned, will reduce the number of places women can get abortions in the state from nine to three.

The Arkansas state house passed the bill adopting the ban Thursday. It has already been approved by the Senate, and Hutchinson has said he’ll sign it into law.

Advocates for the practice say it allows more women access to abortion, and leads to earlier abortions, which are safer. The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes the ban. “It dictates the way doctors would have to practice medicine that does not contort with best medical practice,” attorney Bettina Brownstein told the AP. “It doesn’t further the health and safety of women.”

Arkansas has notoriously strict abortion laws, and several other restrictive measures are in the works, including a bill to make charges for harming an unborn child more severe.

“We do have a pro-life majority in House and Senate and we appreciate that. We’re going to use that to the best of our ability to get stuff done,” Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life, told the AP.

Rather than challenge a woman’s right to abortion, pro-life advocates have increasingly worked to restrict access to abortion, especially at the state level.

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