Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services
Description: Laws in Arkansas protect unborn life after 18 weeks in gestational age, prohibit abortions simply because the baby may have Down syndrome, and require abortionists to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.
US Supreme Court sends decision against Arkansas abortion laws back to 8th Circuit
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Harle regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to vacate a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit’s in Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services and remand it back to that court to re-evaluate its ruling in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Because of Roe v. Wade, the 8th Circuit had suspended enforcement of Arkansas laws protecting unborn life after 18 weeks in gestational age, prohibiting abortions simply because the baby may have Down syndrome, and requiring abortionists to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology:
“Every human life is worthy of protection; Arkansas’ laws protect both unborn children and women. And now that the Supreme Court has returned policy decisions of this sort to the states, we trust that the 8th Circuit will conclude that Arkansas’ laws protecting unborn children, the health of pregnant mothers, and the integrity of the medical profession are legitimate. Two of the three 8th Circuit judges who ruled against Arkansas felt bound by the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey but expressed their deep concern for the error of those decisions, noting that ‘each human being is priceless beyond measure.’ States—including Arkansas—have a valid interest in ensuring that their laws respect the life and dignity of the unborn and are protect the health of women based on the latest science.”
- Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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Denise Harle serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is the director of the Center for Life. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws. In 2017, she participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. She clerked for Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court and worked for several years as an appellate litigator at a large firm in California. Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems. A member of the state bars of California, Florida, and Georgia, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.