As of Tuesday, Arkansas became the first state to enact a near-total abortion banning law. This follows abortion opponents attempting to reopen the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision that authorized the procedure nationwide.
In the past several years, the Supreme Court, leaning toward conservatism, has made it clear that it would consider new restrictions on abortion.
Under the Arkansas bill (SB6), abortion providers cannot perform abortions except if abortion is required to save a pregnant woman’s life in a medical emergency. No exceptions are made for fetal anomalies, rape, or incest. Fines of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years are possible for those found to violate the law.
Staff Attorney with American Civil Liberties Union, Megan Burrows, believes that the future of Arkansas near-total abortion law is unclear with the likelihood of changes over time.
Since the start of 2019, there have been 11 gestational bans meant to ban abortions past a certain point in pregnancy. And none of the bans have been passed in courts after most of them were blocked by judges.
Some of the recent near-total abortion bans not going into law are the 18-week bill passed by Arkansas in 2019 and another one passed in Alabama in the same year.
Gloria Pedro, a regional manager in one of the advocacy for planned parenthood groups, believes that such a bill is a waste of time and taxpayers’ money because it’s impractical to have it approved by the courts.
Supporters appreciate the bill’s chance of spurring a court fight that could lead to Roe’s reversal as a strong stand for the state.
Sen. Jason Rapert of Arkansas State sponsored the bill. According to him, the new abortion law will go into effect 91 days after the Arkansas legislative session is slated to occur on May 3.
Rapert knows that the bill will be challenged by many, but they are hopeful that the bill’s tenets will convince the court to respond positively to the issue’s public outcry.
While decrying rape and incest, Rapert stood by the law’s lack of exceptions for both crimes, stating that we cannot say that a human baby does not deserve to live because it was born due to violent conduct.
Abortion Seekers in Arkansas are already subject to several restrictions. To access an abortion, they must receive a 72-hour in-person warning from their providers, as well as information on prenatal and post-neonatal care and child support services.
It is already illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks unless the mother is endangered by rape, incest, or other extreme danger.
According to Rose Mimms, executive director of the Arkansas Right to Life, the bill is considered a major step forward for the state. Mimms added that they have been trying to save as many babies as possible by enacting laws against abortion. They plan to continue pushing for the near-total abortion ban until it becomes law in Arkansas, just like many other states are trying it.
Nelson Richards is a Seasoned Journalist with nearly 6 years of experience. While studying at Case Western Reserve University, Located at Cleveland. Nelson found a passion for finding and writing articles which are published in Well known Media Publications such as Tnt Publications and Ohio News Network. As a contributor to Chroniclex Nelson Covers National Topics.