Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will ask a federal appeals court to allow the state to prohibit nearly all abortions.
Arkansas Act 309 prohibits all abortions except in the case of a medical emergency to save the woman’s life.
The state’s governor signed the bill into law on March 9, 2021, after which it was promptly declared “categorically unconstitutional” by a federal district judge.
Now, Attorney General Rutledge will appeal that ruling against Act 309 to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most conservative courts in the country.
The Daily Citizen has previously written on the specifics of Act 309. Here’s a summary of the law:
- “[Act 309] contains numerous legislative findings outlining why the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn its Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey abortion decisions.”
- “The bill prohibits abortion except in cases of medical emergency when the woman’s life is at risk.”
- “Performing or attempting to perform an abortion would be an unclassified felony.”
- “The penalty would be a fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.”
- “It would not allow a woman to be prosecuted for the death of her unborn child.”
- “It contains exceptions for contraceptives.”
- “It creates an affirmative defense for a physician who accidentally or unintentionally causes injury or death to an unborn child.”
- “It does not explicitly affect or repeal any other state law concerning abortion.”
The act is designed to directly challenge Roe v. Wade. Therefore, it’s almost a sure bet that the 8th Circuit will rule that under current Supreme Court precedent, Act 309 is unconstitutional.
But that’s exactly the point – Act 309 is meant to give the Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider, and then hopefully overrule Roe.
According to the Arkansas Family Council, “The attorney general’s decision to appeal this lawsuit will give our federal courts an opportunity to reverse decades of bad case law on abortion.”
For the millions of Americans who work tirelessly to protect preborn life and help pregnant women in crisis, that is a very good thing.
Focus on the Family will host See Life 2021 this Saturday in Dallas, Texas! The live event will feature inspiring worship from Matthew West, amazing pro-life stories and a live ultrasound. We hope you’ll join us, either in person or online! Learn more about the event here.
The case is Little Rock Family Planning Services v. Larry Jegley.
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