Arkansas soon could see a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the state ban on brutal dismemberment abortions, according to Newsweek.
The state branch of the pro-abortion legal group said it plans to sue “as soon as practically possible” to stop the law from going into effect. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the law, the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, at the end of January.
The legislation prohibits dismemberment abortions, a common second-trimester abortion procedure. Exceptions would be allowed in rare cases where there is a serious risk to the woman’s health, KFSM News 5 reports. Doctors who violate the measure could be held liable; however, women would not be punished, the report states.
A dismemberment abortion typically is performed on a nearly fully-formed, living unborn baby in the second trimester. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces.
Here’s more from the report:
The ACLU plans to take legal action because “it is a ban on certain abortions performed pre-viability, which is unconstitutional, plain and simple,” Rita Klar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, tells Newsweek. Under Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision, a woman has a right to an abortion until roughly 22 weeks of pregnancy, when the foetus is considered viable outside the womb. Under the new law, Arkansas has made it much harder for women to obtain a second trimester abortion, which is a guaranteed right under Roe.
The Arkansas law is another example of legislators in the state “just chipping away, making it harder for women, harder for the people who perform the service for women,” says Klar. The law is expected to go into effect in August.
The ACLU also claims the new law allows a husband to sue a doctor to stop his wife from having an abortion, even in cases of rape, but the liberal fact checker Snopes rated the claim as false.
The Times Record reports more:
The law does allow the husband, parent or legal guardian of a woman who receives or attempts to receive a dilation-and-evacuation abortion to seek an injunction against “a person who has purposely violated” Act 45.
“The injunction shall prevent the abortion provider from performing or attempting to perform further dismemberment abortion in violation of this subchapter,” the law states.
[Gov.] Hutchinson spokesman J.R. Davis said that sentence means the injunction would bar the doctor from again violating Act 45, but it does not mean the husband, parent or guardian could prevent the initial violation.
However, the ACLU is holding fast to its claim, arguing that the language of the bill could be interpreted differently.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in 2015 were D&E, or dismemberment abortions.
“Dismemberment abortion … [is a] gruesome, barbaric procedure. It is one that no civilized society should embrace,” said State Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, in January.
Mayberry, the lead sponsor of the bill, said he hopes the bill will not be challenged, but if it is, he is “confident” it will withstand judicial scrutiny.
Gov. Hutchinson made a similar remark previously: “I have read the bill and it provides safeguards that are important, including an exception for circumstances that put the health of the mother in serious risk, and it assures that there is no penalty on the mother.”
The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would prohibit “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures.
Dismemberment abortion bans also have been voted into law in Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Mississippi and West Virginia have their laws in effect, while the other states are battling legal challenges.