On Tuesday a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s injunction that blocked two pro-life laws the Arkansas Legislature passed in 2019.
The laws are:
- Act 493 of 2019, prohibiting abortion after the eighteenth week of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
- Act 619 of 2019, prohibiting abortion of an unborn baby solely because the child has Down Syndrome.
These laws passed with overwhelming support from state lawmakers in 2019, but abortionists filed a lawsuit to have them overturned.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued an injunction blocking the state from enforcing the laws. Today a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit affirmed her injunction based on U.S. Supreme Court precedent regarding abortion.
However, Circuit Judge Shepherd and Circuit Judge Erickson both wrote opinions calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to “reevaluate its jurisprudence” regarding abortion and asking the supreme court to revisit its bad Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision.
Judge Erickson even went so far as to note that, “In Western society, there is currently no more threatened population than children with Down syndrome.”
So where do things go from here?
It’s possible the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office will appeal today’s decision to the entire Eighth Circuit. That would give the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals an opportunity to weigh in on the laws.
It’s also possible that the ruling will help lawmakers craft better pro-life legislation that will bring us closer to our ultimate goal of ending abortion in Arkansas.