Men who rape women get to stop their victims from getting an abortion in Arkansas. A new law says performing the safest abortion procedure is a Class D felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine or six years in prison. There is no exception for incest, rape, and all but the most extreme health consequence.
Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Arkansas Act 45 into law Thursday. Republicans raced the law through in under two months. The dilation and evacuation abortion procedure is the most common and safest second-trimester procedure, according to a CDC study.
Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told The Daily Beast:
‘The D&E method is the most common method of second-trimester abortion in the United States and in the world. It is the method endorsed by the World Health Organization, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Medical Association.’
A woman’s husband, parent, and related perpetrators of rape and incest have the right to sue. This includes a woman’s rape by her relatives, either blood or by marriage. Young girls are medically at risk for giving birth.
Legislators have instituted similar laws in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and West Virginia. McQuade said this about the bans:
‘They’ve been declared unconstitutional in Oklahoma and Kansas already.’
The Supreme Court says the states’ abortion laws are deemed unconstitutional should they impose an “undue burden” on a woman. According to The Daily Beast, state representative Andy Mayberry said:
‘[The] bill wouldn’t affect a woman seeking an abortion by any other method. We’ve tried to account for all the worst case scenarios.’
Co-founder of Arkansas Abortion Support Network Karen Musick told The Daily Beast:
‘There is zero part of me that understands why a rapist or someone who got someone pregnant against their will, maybe incest, would have any right in that decision. I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that there would be anyone who thinks otherwise.’
‘What that’s getting at, really, is the autonomy and decision-making ability of a woman. The law itself is a major overstep into the doctor-patient relationship… This is taking it one step further to say that women are incapable of making these decisions on their own and on their own behalf.’
The only exception for a woman’s health is for irreparable harm to the woman resulting in a permanent disability. State senator Will Bond commented:
‘There is an exception for women’s health in the bill, but it required irreparable harm [to the point of] permanent disability of a woman.’
‘Every week that goes past in an abortion makes the procedure more expensive and it makes it riskier. The earlier an abortion is performed, the safer it is.’
These are very dark times, when women must come together to protect each other.
Check out this brief video about Arkansas’s terrible abortion situation:
Arkansas just passed one of the most retrograde anti-abortion bills imaginable pic.twitter.com/cs7y6DADcd
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 3, 2017
Featured Image: Getty Images/Drew Angerer.
H/T: The Daily Beast.