ACLU, Planned Parenthood file lawsuit in challenge of Arkansas abortion ban

State News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two groups in opposition of the ban on abortion set in place by Arkansas legislation have filed a lawsuit Wednesday to challenge the ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit to challenge the ban of abortion in Arkansas.

In March, the governor said he was signing the bill “because of overwhelming legislative support” and his “sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”

SB6 is in contradiction of binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law. I would have preferred the legislation to include the exceptions for rape and incest, which has been my consistent view, and such exceptions would increase the chances for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson

The ban will prohibit abortion in most cases except to save the life of the mother. The law also imposes criminal penalties on doctors providing care.

Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director said that the law is unconstitutional and that they will continue to challenge these laws in court.

“By outlawing abortion and criminalizing doctors, this law would completely block Arkansans from care and put politicians in charge of our most deeply personal decisions. As long as Arkansas politicians keep trampling on people’s fundamental rights, we’ll continue to challenge these laws in court, in the Capitol, and in communities across the state,”

Holly Dickson, ACLU

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America also commented in support of the lawsuit.

“During what’s been the worst state legislative session for proposed abortion restrictions since Roe was decided, Planned Parenthood stands ready to fight back against unconstitutional laws that are designed to strip people’s access to essential health care,” Johnson said. “We will never stop working to protect our patients’ access to care — including abortion — in Arkansas and across the country. Our patients deserve better from their lawmakers, who are wasting time passing harmful, cruel laws. Arkansas, we’ll see you in court.

Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement in response to the lawsuit filed.

“Arkansas is the most pro-life state in the nation, and I will continue to defend laws that will protect the life of the unborn from radical organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood that promote the killing of unborn children.”

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

This challenge comes after the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks in pregnancy.

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