Republicans never cease to amaze, folks. Arkansas must be trying to set some kind of record as “the most backward southern state of them all,” in light of new legislation coming from the Natural State. Arkansas Republicans have just passed a controversial new law that will give rapists the power to sue victims who choose to have unwanted pregnancies terminated.
A new Arkansas law bans abortions in the second trimester and allows a woman’s husband to sue the doctor for civil damages or “injunctive relief”, which will legally prevent the woman from having the procedure.
Huffington Post explains:
The “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the fetus from the womb with surgical tools. D&E procedures are the safest and most common way women can end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.
A clause buried in the legislation states that the husband of a woman seeking an abortion, if he is the baby’s father, can file a civil lawsuit against the physician for monetary damages or injunctive relief ― a court order that would prevent the doctor from going ahead with the procedure. The woman’s parents or legal guardians can also sue, if she is a minor. The law states that the husband cannot sue the doctor for money in cases of “criminal conduct” against his wife ― namely, spousal rape ― but he could still sue to block her from having the abortion.
State Rep. Andy Mayberry (R), who co-sponsored the bill, told The Daily Beast, “We’ve tried to account for all the worst case scenarios.”
“They created a whole new right ― the right of a husband or family member to sue a doctor on behalf of an adult patient,” said Holly Dickson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas. “I cannot begin to tell you what the intent was, but we have raised concerns about that provision and the entire rest of the bill, which is unconstitutional.”
The ACLU and Arkansas Abortion Support plans to put up a legal fight over this new abortion law before this summer, at which time the law will go into effect.
You may be thinking, “wow, Arkansas is nuts”, but there are other states with nearly identical laws that have passed already. There are four more states –Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia- where the law has been challenged and stopped by the courts.
This is just one more example in a long list of reasons why “pro-life” doesn’t mean that at all. Apparently, it only means “pro-birth,” because they obviously don’t care about the life of the mother, or the life of the child after birth.