Tuesday, May 3, 2022

LITTLE ROCK, AR – On Monday night, news outlets reported that a draft opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health abortion case had been leaked to the media. The draft opinion seems to indicate that the U.S. Supreme Court plans to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court abortion decision. 

Family Council President Jerry Cox issued a statement, saying, “It’s incredible to know that the U.S. Supreme Court may be planning to overturn Roe v. Wade. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to doing exactly that. It appears that when this draft opinion was written in February, a majority of the Court’s nine justices wanted to overturn Roe. The draft opinion says plainly that ‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.’ If the court reverses Roe, then thousands of unborn babies will be saved from abortion in Arkansas and elsewhere every year. But this is not a done deal. The justices could still change their votes. This ruling won’t be final until the court releases its official decision between now and the end of June.”

Cox said the draft opinion would put the issue of abortion under the purview of state lawmakers and congress. “Unfortunately, the fight over abortion is not over. It has entered a different phase. The draft opinion would not end abortion altogether. It would leave the door open for state legislators and congress to pass their own abortion laws. If the U.S. Supreme Court issues this opinion as its official decision in a few weeks, it will be up to states to decide what abortion laws they want to enact.”

Cox said that Arkansas’ lawmakers and pro-life advocates have worked to prepare the state for such a time as this. “We are all blessed to live in Arkansas, the most pro-life state in the nation. Arkansans are pro-life, and our laws reflect that. When this ruling is final, there will be no safer place for women and their unborn children than in Arkansas. Our good, pro-life laws that are already on the books will become enforceable. Under those laws, women will be protected from the harm that abortion causes them, and unborn children will get to live and grow up.”

Cox outlined a few of Arkansas’ laws that will prohibit abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade next month. “Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution says that Arkansas will protect the life of every unborn child as much as the federal constitution allows. The Arkansas Legislature passed a ‘trigger law’ in 2019 that makes abortion illegal, except to save the mother’s life, if Roe v. Wade is reversed. The Arkansas Legislature also passed a law in 2021 prohibiting abortion except to save the mother’s life. That law is tied up in federal court right now, but it could be enforced if the court overturns Roe v. Wade.”

Cox said he does not believe abortionists in Arkansas will give up if Roe v. Wade is overturned. “I expect groups like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and those who profit financially from abortion will work to keep abortion legal in places like California, and they will work to make abortion legal in places like Arkansas. We are confident that Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and her staff will fight to see Arkansas’ pro-life laws enforced. The Arkansas Legislature may be the most pro-life legislature in the nation. If more laws are needed after the Supreme Court ruling is made final, we are confident Arkansas’ lawmakers will pass any additional laws necessary. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a huge victory, but there may still be work to do.”

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock with a mission of promoting, protecting, and strengthening traditional family values.