Arkansas passes new law on abori

By Carina M

America is one of the few countries to legalize abortion and allow women to choose what to do with a pregnancy. This right, first guaranteed 41 years ago by the Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark Roe v. Wade case, however, has been a source of cultural and political tension for many decades now. This human right is being questioned now more than ever which is making women fear that this right can be taken away from them at any moment.

The state of Arkansas recently passed a law, signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson, called the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act  that prohibits dismemberment abortion. This kind of abortion is the most common in second-trimester abortions.  The law permits husbands and family members of pregnant women to object to and testify against the woman’s desire for an abortion. Theoretically, if a woman were to be raped by her husband, he could sue the doctor who would carry on giving her an abortion to stop her decision.  

With President Donald Trump’s election as president, more states have been passing laws similar to Arkansas’. For example, Ohio has passed a law which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to Doug Criss, CNN.

Though some are in favor of this law, many new protests followed in the wake of the Arkansas law. Senior Lindsey Willis said, “I am pro-choice so I believe that a woman should have every choice to do whatever she wants with her body no matter the situation.” Also, another senior student, Emmy McAtamney, said, “I think rather than abortion being made illegal after the second-trimester, it should be easier for women to have access to a first trimester abortion, as that is the safest for the woman. And, I think the law that was passed allowing men to sue women for having an abortion is a violation of human rights and will open the door for rapists to profit off their victims.”

Many people devoted to politics have had something to say as well. Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) said, “Arkansas politicians cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they want to uphold. The Supreme Court has never wavered in affirming that every woman has a right to safely and legally end a pregnancy in the US—and this extreme abortion ban was a direct affront to that right.”