On Thursday, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that includes a clause allowing a woman’s spouse or family to block a woman’s right to abortion by suing the abortion provider. The new law potentially means the foetus’ father can sue in order to block the abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
Karen Musick, co-founder of Arkansas’ Abortion Support Network, told the Daily Beast: ‘There is zero part of me that understands why a rapist or someone who got pregnant against their will, maybe incest, would have any right in that decision. I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that there would be anyone who thinks otherwise.”
That bill, known as Arkansas Act 45, also bans the dilation and evacuation procedure, which is the safest and most common procedure for the second trimester of pregnancy. The procedure is currently used in 95 per cent of cases.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Laura McQuade, said: “The D&E method is the most common method of second-trimester abortion in the United States and in the world. It is the method endorsed by the World Health Organization, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Medical Association.”
Thanks to the new act, carrying out the procedure could incur a fine of $ 10,000 or six years in prison. By banning it, the government is effectively making it impossible for abortions to be carried out safely after the 14-week mark. Whichever way you look at it, Act 45 is a clear indicator that America is turning back the clock on women’s rights.
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