CNA Staff, May 4, 2020 / 14:00 pm
Arkansas' only remaining abortion clinic is suing over a state rule that patients must test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of any elective surgery, claiming that a lack of testing is preventing women from availing themselves of abortions before the state's 20-week limit.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson had on April 3 suspended all elective surgeries throughout the state, with "non-medically necessary surgical abortions" included in that prohibition. Arkansas already has a 72 hour waiting period for abortions.
On April 27, the state modified the order to allow asymptomatic patients to have elective surgeries if they have had a negative COVID-19 NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification) test within 48 hours prior to the beginning of the procedure.
The requirement for COVID-19 testing applies across the board to all elective surgeries, Hutchinson has said.