A county judge’s decision to temporarily block enforcement of a pro-life law in Indiana has left some people wondering if courts in Arkansas could suspend the state’s law protecting unborn children from abortion as well.

Last week Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon temporarily paused enforcement of Indiana’s state law that prohibits abortion except in cases of rape or incest, to save the life of the mother, or if the baby has a lethal anomaly. The judge cited the equal protection clause in the state’s constitution, and the decision will remain in place while the Indiana courts evaluate the pro-life law.

As a result, some people have speculated that Arkansas’ pro-life law generally prohibiting abortion could similarly be blocked in state court, but that is highly unlikely, because of Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution.

Amendment 68 reads,

1. Public funding.

No public funds will be used to pay for any abortion, except to save the mother’s life.

2. Public policy.

The policy of Arkansas is to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth, to the extent permitted by the Federal Constitution.

3. Effect of amendment.

This amendment will not affect contraceptives or require an appropriation of public funds.

Amendment 68 says in no uncertain terms that Arkansas’ policy is to protect the lives of unborn children to whatever extent federal law allows.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade, that means Arkansas’ constitution lets the state enforce any reasonable laws restricting or prohibiting abortion.

Family Council is not aware of any amendment addressing abortion in the Indiana Constitution the way Arkansas’ does.

So while there may be questions about whether or not Indiana’s pro-life laws track with their state’s constitution, a judge in Arkansas would have to take serious liberties with the Arkansas Constitution to block enforcement of one of our state’s pro-life laws.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.