Select Page

Eighth Circuit Reinstates Arkansas Rule Delaying “Non-Medically-Necessary” Procedures, Including Most Abortions

The Arkansas Department of Health, like agencies in some other states, has issued an order putting on hold all “non-medically-necessary” surgical procedures (defined as ones that are “immediately necessary to protect the life or health of the patient”) including surgical abortions; medication abortions appear to still be allowed. The justification for the postponement of the procedures is “a need to preserve existing PPE [personal protective equipment] resources and limit social contact among patients, healthcare providers, and hospital staff.”

A district judge blocked the ban as to abortions, but was reversed by today’s Eighth Circuit decision in In re Rutledge (written by Judge Bobby Shepherd and joined by Ralph Erickson, with Judge James Loken dissenting without opinion). The opinion largely follows the logic of the Fifth Circuit opinion (In re Abbott) that reached the same result, and particularly sharply condemns the trial court for ignoring Jacobson v. Massachusetts and for reversing the order categorically as to all abortions.

But the opinion leaves open the possibility that there would need to be exceptions from the Department of Health order for those abortions for which postponement wouldn’t just be a delay but a denial—those that are near viability. Indeed, in the Fifth Circuit case the trial judge reissued an order protecting those abortions, and the Fifth Circuit has kept it in place, at least at this stage of the litigation. We’ll see what happens in the Arkansas case.

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Eugene Volokh

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub


Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Send BTC:

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!