New Arkansas Bill Allows Rapists To Sue Victims Who Seek Abortions
Feb 07, 2017 11:31 AM EST
Under a new law introduced in Arkansas, USA, states that a pregnant woman's husband will have the say in whether she aborts or not - even in cases of spousal rape. Additionally under Act 45 which speaks of Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortions, the majority of second trimester abortions will be banned.
The Independent reports that the Act grants husbands with the right to sue doctors with civil damages if they carry out an abortion. The spouses could even get an injunction that can block the abortion. The state's Republican government's pro-life law bans all dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures which involves the removal of the foetus by means of surgical tools.
It only took two months for the law to be pushed through. D&E procedures will now be labeled a felony punishable by six years in prison or a $10,000 fine in the southern state. A clause in the legislation also states that the baby's father can sue the doctor responsible for "injunctive relief" (a court order to stop the doctor from carrying out the procedure) or monetary damages.
In the case of a minor, the woman's legal guardians or parents also reserve the right to stop the abortion or sue. In the matter of spousal rape, although the husband cannot win cases of "criminal conduct" against his wife, he remains capable to block her abortion or sue.
Andy Mayberry, the state representative who co-sponsored the bill, called the D&E procedure "gruesome" and "barbaric". He added that the routine medical procedure was one that "no civilized society should embrace". Mr. Mayberry is also the president of Arkansas Right to Life - the subsidiary to the largest pro-life US organization, the National Right to Life Committee.
The Daily Beast was spoken to by the co-founder of Arkansas Abortion Support Network, Karen Musick. She spoke of her inability to fathom how the bill had come to pass as a law at all.
"There is zero part of me that understands why a rapist or someone who got someone pregnant against their will, maybe incest, would have any right in that decision," she said. "I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that there would be anyone who thinks otherwise."