Rutledge files Supreme Court petition in abortion case | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rutledge files Supreme Court petition in abortion case

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 1:29 PM

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed the state's petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today to ask it to review the decisions by a district and federal appellate court that Arkansas's attempt to prohibit most abortions at the 12th week of pregnancy was unconstitutional.

You can read the brief here.

It's  a direct assault on Roe v. Wade, which held that states couldn't prohibit abortion before a fetus was viable, sometime between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. To date, the court has refused to revisit that baseline 1973 holding, though it has allowed states to limit or discourage abortions in many ways.

Said Rutledge:

“Arkansas and other States should be allowed to advance their profound interests in defending the life of the unborn, which is exactly what the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act accomplishes.”

Rutledge cares less about a woman's reproductive rights.

The state argues, among others, that there's no problem in forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term because of "safe haven" law that allows a mother to relinquish a child within 30 days after birth.  The state also argues that the statute continues to allow abortion after the detection of a hearbeat until the end of the first trimester, providing ample time before then to continue to choose abortion (but only after having a mandatory ultrasound test and a report on the chances of carrying a pregnancy to term.)

If the Supreme Court DOES take this petittion, with no conflict currently existing among circuit courts, it WILL be bad news for abortion rights.

Should the Hail Mary petition work, you can be sure Jason Rapert will be back with a bill to prohibit an abortion the minute a heartbeat is detected, in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, sometimes before a woman is aware of pregnancy.

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