Rapert's abortion ban is unconstitutional

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Duh. Sen. Jason Rapert's bill to ban abortions from the 12th week of pregnancy onward is unconstitutional under every controlling legal precedent. We've been hollering that for weeks.

Nonetheless, it's useful to have articles such as this from Stephens Media in which a law professor underscores the point.

It's also worth, again, underscoring Rapert's dishonesty. For two years he claimed the original version of this bill wouldn't require invasive transvaginal probes to find a heartbeat. It did. Worse than that is this bodacious Rapert whopper:

Doctors generally consider a fetus to be viable at 23 or 24 weeks. No state currently bans abortions as early as 12 weeks, but Rapert told the House committee that if Arkansas were to adopt such a ban, it would withstand a court challenge.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed states to prohibit abortions before viability,” Rapert told the panel.

He said his bill was “vetted by legal scholars” but did not name them.

[Theresa] Beiner, who teaches constitutional law at UALR, said the court has never issued such a ruling.

“This all comes from Planned Parenthood v. Casey, where viability became the touchstone of when you could begin to prohibit abortions,” she said. “That doesn’t mean you can’t regulate abortions before viability, but it’s going to be regulation, it’s not going to be prohibition.”

Regulation and prohibition are two different things. Rapert knows this. He's glorying in the possibility Arkansas will defy the law and that some miracle will upend decades of court guidance. He simply lies. Do it often enough — and if the Stepford Republicans repeat the lie enough — you might convince a lot of people you're telling the truth.

Arkansas legislators took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Those who vote for this bill are knowingly violating that oath, just as the segs of Dixie did in the 1950s and 1960s. Backers of Andy Mayberry's 20-week abortion ban have a tiny shred of cover, in a decision at a district court in Arizona not applicable in Arkansas, where appellate precedent still applies. That one, too, is unconstitutional.

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