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Judge upholds COVID-19 testing before an abortion

by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/08/20, 11:37 am

Women in Arkansas must test negative for the coronavirus before they can abort their unborn children. U.S. District Judge Brian Miller on Thursday rejected a motion to block enforcement of the law after the state’s only abortion business argued that a shortage of test kits limited how many babies it could abort.

Where did the requirement come from? Arkansas previously blocked all elective procedures, including abortion, during the pandemic. But it eased that law in favor of requiring women to test negative for the virus at least 48 hours before aborting a child. The state said it was treating the abortion business the same as other facilities that offer elective surgeries. “Today’s decision ensures that there are no exemptions for surgical abortions during this pandemic,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, said. “Arkansas’ reasonable directive sets standards to protect the health and safety of patients, healthcare professionals, and the public during the COVID-19 emergency.”

Dig deeper: Read Leah Hickman’s report in Vitals on the developments in the Arkansas case and in other states fighting for life across the nation.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a political reporter for WORLD's Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Harvest resides in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter @HarvestPrude.

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