A women now has to have the permission of a man to do what she wants with her body.
From the end of July a women can have her access to an abortion blocked by the father if he doesn't approve of the termination. Think about this- the sperm giver might have been this womens rapist or maybe even an abusive ex boyfriend, but because of this law change they have the right to say what happens with a womens body. So putting it like this, a women is raped, she then finds out that because of that she is pregnant, before she can terminate the pregnancy she must seek the opinion of her attacker who has the ability to refuse and block the abortion. Meaning this women now not only has to deal with the emotional trauma of a rape, but now has to carry her rapists baby. What about this a boyfriend has the ability to block the abortion, but there is nothing to say he has to stick around while she carries his baby.
The bill has come into force because of a law change that states family members must agree on what happens with the remains of a deceased relative- including aborted fetuses. The bill also allows parents of girls under the age of 18 the right to decide if their daughter has an abortion.
"Every day, women in Arkansas and across the United States struggle to get the care they need as the lawmakers impose new ways to shut down clinics and make abortion unavailable.Arkansas women cannot afford to lose further access. They cannot afford to travel hundreds of miles to get to the nearest clinic. And they should not have to endure invasions of privacy and violations of their autonomy."
This is what the American Civil Liberties Union had to say in their blog post announcing that they would legally challenge the bill this week. The ACLU has before fought and defeated their government, when they tried to pass a bill that prohibited abortion at 12 weeks, this law was never passed. Together with the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood, ACLU have filed two lawsuits challenging the restrictions that Arkansas women face when wanting to terminate a pregnancy, because this new bill isn't the only restriction these women face.
This is what a women wanting an abortion in Arkansas must go through in order to obtain an abortion:
- So, before she can even book in for an abortion she MUST go to a state-directed counseling session that gives her information designed to discourage her from making this choice. Once this is over, the procedure cannot be provided for another 48 hours. This session must be done in person- there is two trips to the clinic right there.
- Arkansas has a health exchange which allows you to have a health plan under the Affordable Care Act, however the health plan can only cover abortion if it is deemed that carrying the baby will endanger the women's life or extenuating circumstances such as incest. You also can't receive public funding except for those extenuating circumstances.
- The "dilation and evacuation" procedure which is perhaps one of the safest methods of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester has been banned in the state since about this time last year.
- A women under the age of 17 that has an abortion- whether there be evidence of abuse or not must be reported to the local police. Is this not an invasion of privacy?
- A women must show her entire reproductive history in order to have an abortion. This doesn't matter if the history is in another language, years past or was performed in a completely different state.
This bill is nothing but a way for legislators to push anti-abortion agenda without call it as such because of the back lash that would receive. I sincerely hope that the challenge against these abortion restrictions is successful and Arkansas women soon receive the women reproductive right that they deserve.