Yesterday the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by the ACLU for a hearing before the entire court regarding four pro-life laws the Arkansas Legislature passed in 2017.

The pro-life laws in question are:

  • Act 45 of 2017 prohibiting certain surgical abortion procedures that dismember a living unborn child.
  • Act 733 of 2017 prohibiting abortions performed due to the baby’s sex.
  • Act 1018 of 2017 requiring abortionists to report abortions performed on any girl under the age of 17 to the State Crime Lab in case the girl turns out to be the victim of sexual assault.
  • Act 603 of 2017 prohibiting biomedical and behavioral research on aborted fetal remains and requiring aborted fetal remains to be disposed of according to the Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker blocked the laws from going into effect in 2017, but a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted her injunction last August.

In response, the ACLU appealed to the entire Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, but yesterday the court denied that request.

Now that the Eighth Circuit has denied the ACLU’s appeal, the laws could take effect later this month, but the ACLU has issued statements indicating that it will take further legal action against the four laws.

These are good laws that protect women from dangerous abortion practices and will save the lives of hundreds of unborn children every year. Even if the fight to defend these laws isn’t entirely over yet, the Eighth Circuit’s decision this week is a major victory.