Protect Rape Victims and Spouses from New Arkansas Anti-Abortion Act

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At the end of the January 2017, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law a new act titled "Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act" in Arkansas. This act not only bans a majority of second-trimester abortions, but also puts thousands of lives at danger because it can potentially allow husbands, fathers, and rapists to "veto" a woman's abortion.

In this unconstitutional act, as stated by Senior Politics Reporter of the Huffington Post Laura Bassett, it "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." This is flawed in several ways, many of them pointing in the direction that not only do women realize they are pregnant mostly in their second trimester, but the second trimester is also when birth defects start to appear.

It also states in the legislation that if a wife wishes to abort, her husband could simply file a civil lawsuit against the physician, which would stop the doctor from moving on with procedure since it is a court order. If the woman who wishes to abort is a minor instead, then her legal guardians/parents are also free to file their own lawsuits. "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," Bassett reports.

State Rep. Andy Mayberry (R), co-sponsor of the bill, claims that they have "tried to account for all the worst case scenarios," but the legislation says otherwise. Women and girls are now at higher risk for dangerous self-abortions, being silenced by their abusers, and even death.

Please understand that this is a horrible situation to even imagine being in. To think that a man can finally control what a woman does with her body, especially if it's for the best of her health. Rapists and abusers can now lock women and girls in a stranglehold for the mistakes of those criminals. Sometimes, the women do not have the choice of getting themselves into these situations -- now they want to steal away the only ways of getting out. All it takes is a few seconds to prove that we care about the victims. All it takes is your name for you to be heard. And I guarantee you, if the state doesn't listen, the women of Arkansas will.



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