According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office petitioned to move an important case from state court to federal court after a Pulaski County judge temporarily blocked a pro-life law.
The case surrounds the Arkansas Woman’s Right to Know Act. This good law requires abortionists to give women all the facts about abortion — including abortion’s risks, consequences, and alternatives — and it requires abortionists to wait at least 48 hours before performing the abortion.
This gives women ample time to weigh their options and decide if they want to go through with the abortion.
Abortionists cannot charge women for the abortion or any services related to the abortion until the 48-hour reflection period is over.
In some states, abortion facilities have required women to pay ahead of time for an abortion or related services. This may cause women to feel financially obligated to have the abortion. Making the clinics wait 48 hours while the woman makes her decision is perfectly reasonable.
However, Planned Parenthood and Little Rock Family Planning Services apparently disagree.
Last year the facilities were cited for charging women ahead of time and collecting credit card information from patients prior to the end of the 48-hour reflection period.
The groups appealed to the State Board of Health. Last fall the board ruled the abortion facilities had violated state law.
After that decision, the groups appealed to Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, who issued an order yesterday that blocked this good law from being enforced until the case is decided or a higher court intervenes.
The attorney general’s office petitioned a federal court yesterday to take up the case. A federal court could unblock the law — meaning the state would be able to enforce it. Given the fact a number of other states have similar laws on the books, the federal court system is also likely to uphold Arkansas’ law.
Hats off to the state’s attorneys for being so proactive with this case!
As I’ve said before, I don’t know of any attorney general in America who is doing more to defend the sanctity of life and protect women from abortion than Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
Her office has won some major, pro-life victories in court over the past couple of years. This may be an opportunity for yet another win.
Photo Credit: By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.