GOP leaders in Arkansas have stolen more freedom away from women after passing a law that forces women to get the written permission of their partner before they’re allowed to get an abortion. Arkansas legislators do not seem to care about a woman’s right to choose and instead give ownership of her body over to the man who impregnated her – even if they’re not married. The bill called H.B. 1566 is a new provision Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009 – but instead of granting rights to women, takes them away. The initial intent of this law was to provide family members with a strategy on dealing with a deceased person’s body. Arkansas GOP saw an opportunity to tack on abortion to this law.
Now the bill includes aborted fetuses. That means both the mother and father of the fetus must agree on what to do with the fetus’s remains. The GOP has gotten a stranglehold on women forcing them to not only tell the person who impregnated them about the fetus, but to get their permission to conduct the abortion.
Only if both parties agree on what to do with the fetal remains can the woman choose to protect her reproductive rights.
Although Arkansas now forces pregnant woman to get their partner’s consent to get an abortion, the state will not be providing any assistance if the father refuses to support the family.
This law also applies by women raped by abusive partners or those who become pregnant after a stranger sexually assaults them. While a forthcoming addendum might fix this horrible oversight, it is unclear if even women who become pregnant by rape has the right to choose in Arkansas. Also, if a woman under the age of 18 wants an abortion, their parents or guardians must decided on what to do about the fetus’s remains, forcing underage pregnant women to discuss the abortion with their parents.
H.B. 1566 tries to “make it harder” for women to get an abortion, a representative for NARAL Pro-Choice told the Huffington Post.
“While proponents of this plan claim it’s about embryonic-tissue requirements, the plain intention and unavoidable outcome of this scheme is to make it harder for a woman to access basic health care by placing more barriers between a woman and her doctor,” The NARAL representative said.
Experts recognize that laws like this are a sneaky way for lawmakers to force their anti-abortion agendas onto female citizens.
“Some politicians have begun trying to make abortion functionally unavailable through insidious restrictions like this one,” the NARAL representative said. “Their intention is, of course, to make abortion unavailable by any means necessary.”
This anti-abortion legislation passed Arkansas’s 2017 legislative session. That means it goes into effect at the end of July.
Thankfully, the ACLU is fighting this anti-abortion law.
Partnering with the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against H.B. 1566. The civil rights organization hopes to stop the legislation from being acted upon until the court hearing is decided.
The ACLU’s first court hearing is scheduled for July 13.
Do you agree that sneaky anti-abortion laws like this need to be stopped?
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