Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Laws Saving Babies From Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 23, 2020   |   4:13PM   |   Little Rock, AR

Arkansas once again is being prevented from enforcing four pro-life laws that would save unborn babies from abortions and protect young victims of sexual abuse.

For three years, state leaders have been fighting in court to be allowed to protect unborn babies’ lives. Then, last week, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state and allowed the laws to go into effect starting Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, however, U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker put another halt to the state’s efforts to protect life, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. She issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing the laws until Jan. 5 in response to a request from the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Arkansas Times.

The four laws include the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which protects 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 require the remains of aborted babies to be buried or cremated and require abortion staff to report evidence of suspected sexual abuse of underage girls to authorities.

State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said her office will appeal Baker’s decision.

“I am disappointed in Judge Baker’s decision to again temporarily block Arkansas laws protecting young girls from predators and sex traffickers, protecting girls from sex-selective abortions, and prohibiting particularly barbaric abortion practices,” Rutledge said in a statement. “Arkansas has repeatedly prevailed when it has appealed similar rulings by Judge Baker and will ultimately do so again.”

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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 abortion groups challenging the laws basically admitted as much in their arguments. The ACLU wrote in a press release, “While the laws were in effect [Tuesday], clinics were forced to cancel appointments and were only able to offer medication abortion.”

Arkansas Times’ biased report also mentioned: “The state contends the law does not present a substantial obstacle. The plaintiffs contend it will put Little Rock Family Planning out of the business of medical abortions and deprive three women of abortions scheduled this week. That, of course, was the aim of the law.”

In her ruling, Baker agreed with the pro-abortion plaintiffs that enforcing the laws could cause “irreparable harm” because “women seeking [abortions] in Arkansas with currently scheduled appointments and procedures will be barred from exercising their constitutional rights.” This so-called “harm” is babies being born rather than killed in abortions.

Baker predicted that the pro-abortion groups are “likely to succeed in proving” that the laws are unconstitutional.

Those challenging the pro-life laws are: the ACLU, the ACLU of Arkansas, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and O’Melveny & Myers LLP on behalf of abortionist Frederick W. Hopkins and the Little Rock Family Planning Services abortion facility.

Attorney General Rutledge repeatedly has promised to defend the protections for unborn babies and their mothers.

“Arkansas has taken a strong stance to protect the unborn from inhumane treatment,” she said in a statement in August. “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 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.

Thirteen states have laws that ban dismemberment abortions. However, the abortion industry is challenging many of them in court.