Judge Blocks Arkansas Ban on Abortions of Babies With Down Syndrome

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 7, 2019   |   1:49PM   |   Little Rock, AR

A federal judge extended her block Tuesday on several pro-life Arkansas laws, including one that protects unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker also blocked laws that prohibit abortions after 18 weeks and that require abortionists to be board-certified OB-GYNS, according to the Canadian Press.

“Since the record at this stage of the proceedings indicates that women seeking abortions in Arkansas face an imminent threat to their constitutional rights, the court concludes that they will suffer irreparable harm without injunctive relief,” Baker wrote in her decision.

Baker, an appointee of pro-abortion President Barack Obama, temporarily blocked the laws in July, but her order was going to expire Tuesday. Her new ruling extended the order, meaning unborn babies can continue to be aborted simply because they have Down syndrome or if they are older than 18 weeks of pregnancy.

Courthouse News reports state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge quickly announced plans to appeal the ruling.

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“She continues to defend Arkansas law protecting women’s health by requiring a board certified or eligible OBGYN to perform an abortion, as well as Arkansas laws that protect unborn life by prohibiting abortions after 18 weeks and at any time if based on a Down syndrome diagnosis,” a spokesperson for Rutledge said.

Planned Parenthood, the Little Rock Family Planning Services and the American Civil Liberties Union are challenging the laws.

ACLU Arkansas executive director Holly Dickson celebrated the ruling because it will continue to allow unborn babies to be aborted in the state.

“This ruling ensures our clients can continue to provide quality, compassionate medical care to Arkansans while we work to strike down these laws for good,” she said in a statement.

Abortions are not medical care, though. Their purpose is to kill unique, living human beings. Abortions also happen to be a big money-making business.

In July, Lori Williams, director of the Little Rock abortion facility, told the judge that they would have to close if the OB-GYN requirement goes into effect. She said only one of their abortionists is board-certified, and he just works part-time.

With only one part-time abortionist, Williams said they could not do as many abortions, and that would hurt them financially, the Arkansas Times reports. She estimated that abortions are about 95 percent of what her facility does.

The abortion groups did not challenge a fourth law that requires a 72-hour waiting period between informed consent and the abortion, according to The Hill. It went into effect in July.

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, many state residents told KFSM News 5 that they support 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.

In July, LifeNews reported how a Planned Parenthood in Fayetteville closed because of pro-life advocates’ strong presence outside.