Shortly before midnight on Friday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction against four pro-life laws the Arkansas Legislature passed last spring.
We have written extensively about these laws and what they do. You can read our response to the ACLU’s legal challenges against the laws here.
It is unfortunate one judge would take it upon herself to block good laws the Arkansas Legislature passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support.
These laws help prevent companies from buying or selling organs harvested from aborted babies. They ensure aborted babies are respectfully buried or cremated. They help protect minors who may be victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. They require doctors to request at least some of a woman’s medical records before performing an abortion. And they prohibit surgical abortion procedures in which an unborn baby is dismembered.
Judge Baker’s decision to block these four good, pro-life laws came just hours after a panel of judges from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a similar order Judge Baker handed down last year blocking a pro-life law from 2015. The panel faulted Judge Baker for failing to estimate the number of women who would actually be affected by the law before she decided to block it.
The Attorney General’s office has indicated it will appeal Judge Baker’s decision to block these four pro-life laws. Given the Eighth Circuit’s recent history, there seems to be a good possibility these laws will be reinstated by a higher court down the road.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.