On Wednesday attorneys with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s offices made arguments in favor of three pro-life laws in court, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The arguments were made via teleconference before a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The laws in question are:
- Act 493 of 2019, prohibiting abortion after the eighteenth week of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
- Act 619 of 2019, prohibiting abortion of an unborn baby solely because the child has Down Syndrome.
- Act 700 of 2019, requiring abortion doctors to be board certified or board eligible OB/GYNs.
These laws passed with overwhelming support from state lawmakers in 2019.
However, after the measures passed, abortionists at Little Rock Family Planning Services filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU to have the laws overturned.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker in Little Rock issued an injunction blocking the state from enforcing the laws.
Following that decision, Attorney General Rutledge’s office appealed to the Eighth Circuit to vacate Judge Baker’s injunction.
The three judges now presiding over the case are Judge James Loken of Minneapolis; Judge Bobby Shepherd of El Dorado, Arkansas; and Judge Ralph Erickson of Fargo, North Dakota.
Judge Erickson has served on the Eighth Circuit since President Trump nominated him in 2017. President George H. W. Bush nominated Judge Loken for the Eighth Circuit in 1990, and President George W. Bush nominated Judge Shepherd in 2006.
In April Judges Erickson and Shepherd ruled that Arkansas could restrict surgical abortion amid the COVID-19 pandemic; Judge Loken dissented in that decision. In light of that, it’s possible these judges will let Arkansas’ three pro-life laws stand.
As I’ve said many times, I don’t know of any attorney general’s office in America who is doing more to fight for the right to life than Arkansas’.
This team has tirelessly defended good laws like these. Arkansas has won some major, pro-life victories, and I am confident that more victories are ahead.