by Max Brantley
Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project: “We’re pleased to know these insulting, harmful, and unconstitutional laws will be enjoined while we fight them in court. By blocking these laws, the judge has prevented some of the most egregious burdens Arkansas politicians have tried to impose on women seeking abortion in the state.”A spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the state would appeal.Naturally. Rutledge is stridently anti-choice.
Rita Sklar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas: “Arkansas women can feel a little relief today, knowing that these laws are blocked from taking effect. Instead of protecting women’s health, Arkansas politicians have passed laws that defy decency and reason just to make it difficult or impossible for a woman to get an abortion. We’re fighting to see these laws struck down before they can be used to block a woman’s access to care.”
Statement from Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Arkansas politicians made it their mission to rob women of their health care options this year. Today’s ruling elevates women’s health over four cruel and unconstitutional restrictions which ignore women’s dignity and privacy. The Center for Reproductive Rights will continue to stand with Arkansas women against attacks on their rights and vows to fight these restrictions until they are permanently blocked.”
A few years ago, Little Rock Family Planning Services requested a woman’s medical records from another health care provider and that provider’s wife then reached out to the woman in an effort to dissuade her from having an abortionThe judge noted that law enforcement agencies are not always responsive to the clinic when it notifies them of the need to preserve tissue samples of young women who receive abortions.
On occasion, when a Little Rock Family Planning Services representative has spoken to local law enforcement about the existing law, personnel lecture the Little Rock Family Planning Services and “preach anti-abortion rhetoric, including telling [the representative] that the Clinic is taking a life.”The judge said Hopkins likely will succeed on the merits because the laws present substantial obstacles and undue burdens on women.
The required notice of abortion and transmittal of “crime lab” evidence will stigmatize these women and potentially subject them to a range of negative reactions that can occur in response to the revealed decision to end a pregnancy.The judge also accepted the argument that the expanded demands on disposal of fetal remains burdened women. She wrote, and I highlight because the issue has been argued, including by Democrats who unaccountably voted for the legislation
Here, the Tissue Disposal Mandate requires notice and consent to the disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue – and of every woman’s abortion – from a woman’s sexual partner or, if the woman and her sexual partner are minors, the parent or parents of both, in direct conflict with Supreme Court precedent. ...When Rep. Kim Hammer passed this legislation, he defended it as giving a biological father a deserved voice. Baker quoted the relevant U.S. Supreme Court precedent:
That fact that both “parents” have disposition rights under the FDRA creates a requirement of notice and consent of the woman’s sexual partner and requires that, when the other “parent” is “absent,” then “reasonable efforts” need to be made to locate him prior to disposition. ..
That the woman’s sexual partner could be difficult to locate, could withhold consent, could seek a different means of disposition, or could otherwise delay the abortion gives him “an effectivev veto” over her decision. Notice of abortion could subject some women to physical and psychological abuse.
“A husband has no enforceable right to require a wife to advise him before she exercises her personal choices,” including about pregnancy.The judge observed the law gave disposal rights to a male 18 or over or parents if the pregnant woman was a minor and thus invalidates the required option of a judicial bypass to avoid notifying parents. She also observed, again with emphasis
She noted that the legislature tried to clean up this flawed law by
The law mandates disclosure to a woman’s partner or spouse, even if that person is no longer in her life or is a perpetrator of sexual assault.
Even if proper, the judge said the rule change didn't make the law constitutional. Here's the ruling, a monumental takedown of anti-abortion lawmaking as well as an informative explanation of each part of the process.
The Court is unclear on the authority possessed by the Legislative Council and, therefore, unclear on the binding nature of this amendment to the Tissue Disposal Mandate. The Court also questions whether this amendment has to go through an approval process before being formally adopted.