Abortions officially illegal in Arkansas after certification of 2019 law

Ark. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certifies the law that now bans virtually all abortions...
Ark. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certifies the law that now bans virtually all abortions in the state.(KAIT)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 2:58 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Abortion in the state of Arkansas is officially illegal, except to protect the life of a woman. This comes following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade opinion, which made abortion legal across the country.

Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge signed the certification of a 2019 bill called the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act.

The legislation included a provision which would activate the law whenever the Roe vs Wade opinion was overturned.

“I was born in 1976, so I cannot recall where I was when Roe vs Wade came down,” an emotional Rutledge said during a news conference Friday. “I will always recall where I was when the Dobbs decision came down, and as the first woman ever elected Attorney General and as someone who took a long time for God to decide it was time for me to be a mom, I can’t wait for other women across Arkansas to have that same joy of seeing their child’s face that maybe had not been conceived if it was not for today’s decision.”

The Court issued its official ruling Friday in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The lawsuit challenged a Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks.

The Court upheld the ban in a 6-3 ruling. Five of the justices said both the 1973 Roe ruling and the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs Casey ruling, which reaffirmed Roe, were “egregiously wrong” and needed to be overturned.

Thirteen other states have laws with triggers allowing bans on abortion to go into effect.

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