The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking a federal appeals court to rehear a case involving four pro-life state laws in Arkansas.
The laws were passed by the Arkansas legislature in 2017 and deal with the following: dismemberment abortion; sex-selection abortion; prohibiting buying and selling aborted baby babies; and a requirement that abortions performed on any girl under the age of 17 be reported to the state crime lab in the event the girl is the victim of sexual assault.
"These laws have been in litigation for over three years now,” advises David Cox of the Arkansas Family Council. “And a three-judge panel on the Eighth Circuit recently unblocked the laws and said Arkansas could enforce them.”
After that court action, the ACLU has appealed to the entire Eighth Circuit to “re-block these laws and ultimately strike them down,” Cox adds.
Why should the public pay attention to an Arkansas case?
According to Cox, because it has the potential to change how federal courts treat pro-life laws nationwide after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June on Louisiana’s hospital admissions law. That case is June Medical Services v Russo, which struck down the state law in a narrow 5-4 decision.
“And so what we're seeing right now is federal courts discuss whether or not states have more leeway now to restriction abortion in light of June Medical Services," Cox explains. "That has the potential to affect abortion litigation in the Eighth Circuit but also in the neighboring circuits around the country."