Saturday, 19 January, 2019

A Husband Can Block His Wife's Abortion Under a New Arkansas Law

A Husband Can Block His Wife's Abortion Under a New Arkansas Law A Husband Can Block His Wife's Abortion Under a New Arkansas Law
Melissa Porter | 06 February, 2017, 03:31

Despite the overwhelming science surrounding dilation and evacuation abortions, Senator David Sanders, a co-sponsor of the bill who testified that the procedure is repulsive to bear, said, "You see a baby, an unborn life, a fetus, engaging in fight or flight reaction to the forceps going into the womb, trying to remove an arm, remove a leg".

The law also contains a frightening clause that enables a woman's husband to sue the doctor who performs her abortion for monetary damages.

The first to take action is Arkansas, which on January 27 passed the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act (pdf).

The law does not include an exception for spousal rape or incest.

The "Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act" is so obsessed with protecting the life of an unborn child at any cost that it allows a husband to obstruct a wife's access to abortion, even when he rapes her.

Karen Musick, co-founder of Arkansas Abortion Support Network, slammed the decision to pass the pro-life law.

According to the state's health department 683 of Arkansas's 3,771 abortions were D&E in 2015.

Doctors who carry out the procedure can now face a fine of up to $10,000 or up to a six-year prison sentence in the state. "I can not wrap my brain around the fact that there would be anyone who thinks otherwise". However, it is loosely assumed that he would also be able to halt an abortion for the same reasons. The loophole that would allow rapists to stall an abortion and sue for rights of the child is at the top of the list.

According to Reuters, laws banning dilation and evacuation abortions exist in MS and Louisiana (similar measures in Alabama, Kansas, and Oklahoma have encountered legal challenges and have yet been carried out in full). Implementing a cutoff at 14 weeks of pregnancy will make it the earliest abortion ban in the country, as the current earliest one blocks abortion procedures after 20 weeks.

Six other states have passed almost identical laws, and in all four states where the law was challenged ― Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia ― it was struck down by the courts. Other similar acts attempted in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Kansas, have faced legal challenges that have stalled their implementation. "I can not begin to tell you what the intent was, but we have raised concerns about that provision and the entire rest of the bill, which is unconstitutional". In a statement to Reuters Rita Sklar, an attorney with the ACLU Arkansas chapter, said "the law puts an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to obtain a second-trimester abortion".