(Arkansas Abortion Laws)
Posted by The Gritz
A Human Heart-beat -(Arkansas Abortion Laws)
In the midst of a new pope, mass murders, Chris Dorner, and gun control – Abortion has taken a back-seat in the ordering of social issues. This month the issue has resurfaced with an eruption. Arkansas legislature has passed bill to revise and toughen the already strict “deadline” for the abortion of a child fetus. The law will prohibit most abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy and is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The bill and its passing have marked Arkansas as a sort of ground zero in the battle over women’s/abortion rights in the country.
Under the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, which is scheduled to go into effect later this summer, women seeking an abortion who are at least 12 weeks pregnant will be required to undergo an ultrasound. If a heartbeat is detected, the abortion would not be permitted. In addition to signing legislature banning insurers who participate in an exchange created under the federal health care law from covering abortions in February, Arkansas’ Gov. Mike Beebe, despite great opposition, issued veto of the controversial Human Heartbeat Protection Act this march. Gov. Beebe and the bills lobbyist have claim that their vote revolves around the states’ consequent attempts to protect and save lives, particularly the unborn life.
As the bill passed March 7th 2013 in an Arkansas court house, Pro-choice groups were outraged and even puzzled that such a law would even be lobbied without consideration to the cases well known precedents. “The bill is clearly unconstitutional and clearly inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent,” say Pro-choice groups, citing Roe v. Wade1 and other subsequent Supreme Court precedents. Several groups plan to sue Arkansas in federal court over the 12-week ban before it becomes law this summer. Just as a comparable contrast, in 2011, the state of Idaho law banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and the ever loosening California law permits abortion up until 24 weeks!2 (6 months)
The opinion is that The Supreme Court in past precedents has ruled that a state cannot ban abortion before viability and this bill is in clear violation of that. Viability is the ability of a thing, organism, or idea to maintain itself. Therefore, fetal viability, particularly, is the ability of a fetus to survive outside the uterus. A fetus’ viability usually takes place around 28 weeks (7 months) but may as early as 24 weeks.
In my own opinion I disagree with state, federal, or any government discerning when a woman is legally able to abort, but I also believe that 7 months is way too late in the development stage for any abortion. Anybody who knows anybody has seen an ultrasonography photo of a baby at 3 months and with the new 3d technology a 14 week old fetus looks like a little person. I may not agree with government imposing a timeline for a woman’s decision but I absolutely believe that there should be one. Most women become aware of their pregnancy around 7 to 8 weeks. The right to abort a pregnancy is and always should be a reasonable option available for that woman’s own consideration. In the event that she does decide to abort, she should have made the decision to do such by the end/beginning of her first/second trimester. I absolutely believe in pro-choice but within a reasonable timeline. I think 12 weeks, such as the Arkansas law, may be a bit premature to set a legal deadline or “live-line,” but any abortion passed 17/18 weeks is ridiculous and absolutely starts to teeter and totter across the lines of irresponsibility and murder– viable fetus or not! What do you think? Send your opinion of this issue to mHoward14@student.rcc.edu thanks for reading.
- 1. Roe v. Wade a 1973 Supreme Court case that challenge the implement of state laws that criminalize abortion, on the basis that it is unconstitutional and in violation of the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. The ruling was upheld and held that the due process clause protects the right to privacy, including a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, against state action.
- 2. As of March 13th (the same week as Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act ) The California bill, by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, would allow nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and certified nurse midwives to perform a procedure known as “aspiration” abortion, which employs a suction method to remove a fetus from a uterus.