An Arkansas state senator criticized a judge this week for allowing unborn babies to be aborted simply because they have Down syndrome.
State Sen. Jason Rapert told KATV News 7 that it was a “crime against humanity” when federal Judge Kristine Baker blocked the state from enforcing three new pro-life laws.
Baker, an appointee of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, issued a temporary injunction against the laws on Tuesday at the request of the two abortion facilities in the state. The laws ban abortions on unborn babies after 18 weeks, ban discriminatory abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome and require that abortionists be board-certified OB-GYNs.
The state legislature passed the laws earlier this year, and Rapert was a sponsor of the 18-week ban. However, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and a Little Rock abortion facility sued to overturn the laws.
“I can’t imagine a judge, even a judge that has ruled against pro-life laws in the past, would say that a Down syndrome child’s life is not worth saving,” Rapert said in reaction to Baker’s ruling.
He compared the violence of abortion to the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.
“A 9/11 tragedy occurs every single day in our nation — killed simply because of convenience, not even for medical necessity,” Rapert said.
Earlier this week, state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also defended the laws and the rights of unborn babies.
“Today’s hearing is the initial step in our defense of Arkansas Laws that protect the sanctity of life for mothers and their unborn children,” she said in a statement to KATV before Baker blocked the laws.
WGBH reports abortion activists argued that the laws would restrict women’s access to abortion because many would have to travel out of state if they went into effect. One abortionist who testified, Linda Prine, of New York City, even claimed that “women would die” because of the life-saving laws.
In March, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the pro-life laws. Arkansas House Bill 1439, the Cherish Act, bans abortions after 18 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies that threaten the mother’s life.
“It’s within the second trimester that states are allowed to pass restrictions on, and this, with the science we have today it seems like a very appropriate restriction,” Hutchinson said earlier this year, the AP reports.
At the time, state residents told KFSM News 5 that they supported the new law and would support even wider abortion restrictions.
Many states have abortion bans that protect unborn children after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is the most they are able to do considering the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to allow states to ban abortions entirely. Some states are pushing the envelope by trying to ban abortions before that period.
It is unclear if the legislation will be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The current precedent prohibits states from passing abortion restrictions prior to viability.
The U.S. Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.