Little Rock, Arkansas – The ACLU of Arkansas has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two abortionists in the state in an effort to overturn a new law that bans abortions past twelve weeks when a heartbeat is detected.
As previously reported, legislators in the state voted to override Governor Mike Beebe’s veto of the Human Heartbeat Protection Act last month, setting it up to become Arkansas law. The Act requires that women obtain an ultrasound prior to having an abortion, and if a heartbeat is detected past twelve weeks, the abortion may not proceed. Abortionists who violate the law may have their license revoked.
Following the vote, the ACLU of Arkansas threatened to file a lawsuit, and on Tuesday, it followed through with the threat. It sued the state medical board, asking the court to act quickly to prevent “irreparable harm” to abortionists and abortion-minded mothers.
“In violation of over forty years of settled United States Supreme Court precedent, the Act bans abortion care starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, threatening the rights, liberty, and well-being of Arkansas women and their families,” the suit states. “Flouting the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Act violates the right to be free from unwarranted intrusion by politicians into matters so fundamentally affecting the course of a woman’s life as the decision whether and when to have a child, and whether or not to carry a previable pregnancy to term.”
“The Act will prohibit most of these post-12 week, previability abortions. Absent an injunction, plaintiffs will have no choice but to turn away patients in need of abortion care,” the legal challenge continues. “The constitutional rights of Arkansas women would suffer irreparably, as would their well-being and dignity.”
Edwards and Tvedten are seeking a federal injunction, as well as declaratory judgment that the statute is unconstitutional.