It’s shaping up to be a progressively bleak 2017 for women with a law in Arkansas allowing family members to block an abortion by suing the woman involved – even if the pregnancy is a result of rape.
According to the Huffington Post, the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, signed last week by Gov Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the foetus from the womb with surgical tools.
These procedures are the safest and most common way women can end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.
The law could go into effect as early as spring with no exception for rape or incest cases, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, and potentially the father too, even in cases of spousal rape or incest.
Holly Dickson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, told the paper: “They created a whole new right ? the right of a husband or family member to sue a doctor on behalf of an adult patient. 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.”
Obviously everyone is outraged.