Arkansas soon may be allowed to enforce a law to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the state Friday.
The AP reports the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously vacated a lower federal court injunction blocking the dismemberment abortion ban and three other pro-life state laws.
“Arkansas has taken a strong stance to protect the unborn from inhumane treatment,” state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement celebrating the victory. “As Arkansas’s chief legal officer, I have always advocated for the lives of unborn children and will continue to defend our state’s legal right to protect the unborn.”
The 2017 laws include the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which protects nearly fully formed unborn babies from being brutally dismembered alive in the womb. These abortions typically are referred to as dilation and evacuation, or D&E, and are common in the second trimester when unborn babies are nearly fully developed.
A second law, the Sex Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, protects unborn babies from discriminatory sex-selection abortions. The other two laws involve requiring the remains of aborted babies to be buried or cremated and reporting evidence of the sexual abuse of young girls under 14 to authorities.
The Eighth Circuit judges cited a recent opinion by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as the reason for their decision. Oddly, in the decision, Roberts joined the four liberal justices in ruling against a Louisiana abortion law that required abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges to treat patient emergencies.
The 8th Circuit said that according to Roberts, the appropriate method of analyzing a challenged law is whether the law poses a “substantial obstacle” or a substantial burden, not whether benefits outweighed burdens.
Click Like if you are pro-life to like the LifeNews Facebook page!
In light of that, the 8th Circuit panel dissolved the injunction [ U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker] issued and returned the case to her court to reconsider her ruling using the “substantial obstacle” inquiry advocated by Roberts.
The ruling will not take effect for 21 days, meaning the laws will remain blocked until Aug. 28, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit in 2017.
Arkansas ACLU leader Holly Dickson said they are trying to decide what to do next to “fight against these extreme abortion restrictions.”
If allowed to go into effect, the laws could save hundreds of babies’ lives each year. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in 2015 were D&E, or dismemberment abortions.
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.
Eleven states have passed laws to ban dismemberment abortions: Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and North Dakota. However, the abortion industry is challenging many of them in court.