Biden Administration May End Safety Regulations on RU-486

Last week the Biden Administration quietly signaled that it may end some of the safety restrictions on the RU-486 chemical abortion drug.

The announcement came via a court filing from the ACLU.

In the filing, the Biden Administration’s Food and Drug Administration indicated it is reviewing whether or not current restrictions on RU-486 are still necessary.

In a press release, the ACLU called the safety restrictions “outdated” and and said the administration needed “to take immediate action to expand access to medication abortion.”

Already this year, the Biden Administration has waived certain safety protocols for RU-486 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The truth is RU-486 is a dangerous drug that kills unborn children and carries significant health risks for women.

Fortunately, the Arkansas Legislature has passed several good, pro-life laws this year — such as Act 562 by Rep. Sonia Barker (R – Smackover) and Sen. Blake Johnson (R – Corning).

Act 562 updates Arkansas’ restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs like RU-486.

Among other things, it outlines requirements that abortionists must follow in administering abortion-inducing drugs, and it prohibits abortion drugs from being delivered by mail in Arkansas.

This will help maintain strong restrictions on RU-486 in Arkansas — even if the Biden Administration eliminates some of the federal safety regulations for chemical abortion.

All of this underscores why it is so important to pass good, pro-life legislation at the state level to protect unborn children from abortion, no matter what the federal government does.

22 States Sign Brief Supporting Arkansas’ Ban on Down Syndrome Abortions

On Thursday, 22 state attorneys general signed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Arkansas’ law that bans abortions performed because the unborn child may have Down Syndrome.

In 2019 the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 619 prohibiting abortion of an unborn baby solely because the child has Down Syndrome.

At the time, Family Council estimated that Act 619 could save upwards of 100 unborn children in Arkansas every single year.

In response, the ACLU and the state’s only surgical abortion facility sued the State of Arkansas to have the law struck down. Federal courts subsequently blocked Arkansas from enforcing the law.

Even though a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law should remain blocked, two of the judges asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its precedent on pro-life laws that protect unborn children — like those who may have Down Syndrome — from abortion.

In April Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the nation’s highest court to take up the case.

Now 22 other states have joined the fight to support this good law. The states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch writes that Arkansas’ law advances at least eight compelling state interests:

  • Protecting the entire class of persons with Down Syndrome from being targeted for elimination solely because of disability;
  • Eradicating historical animus and bias against persons with Down Syndrome;
  • Safeguarding the integrity of the medical profession by preventing doctors from abandoning their traditional role as healers to become the killers of disabled populations;
  • Drawing a clear boundary against additional eugenic practices targeted at disabled persons and others;
  • Countering the stigma that eugenic abortion currently imposes on persons with disabilities;
  • Ensuring that the existing Down Syndrome community does not become starved of resources for research and care for individuals with Down Syndrome;
  • Protecting against the devaluation of all human life inherent in any decision to target a person for elimination based on an immutable characteristic; and
  • Fostering the diversity of society and protecting society from the incalculable loss that would occur if people with Down Syndrome were eliminated.

Many people are closely watching this court case, because it has the potential to reshape how federal judges treat state abortion laws. It could give the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to reverse or amend past rulings like Planned Parenthood v. Casey or June Medical Services v. Russo.

This is an opportunity for Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge and her team to win a big, pro-life victory in court that could help save the lives of unborn children in Arkansas and across the nation.

You can download the brief here.

ACLU Plans to Challenge Arkansas’ New Laws, Opposes Religious Freedom Amendment

Last week the ACLU of Arkansas issued a report calling the state’s 2021 legislative session “a catastrophe for civil and human rights in Arkansas.”

The report heavily criticized some of the good laws the Arkansas Legislature passed this year, including:

  • Act 309 / S.B. 6 (Prohibiting Abortion): This good law by Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) prohibits abortion in Arkansas, except in cases when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. This could save the lives of thousands of children and give the courts an opportunity to overturn bad, pro-abortion rulings. Read The Law Here.
  • Act 626 / H.B. 1570 (Prohibiting Sex-Reassignment on Children): This good law by Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Springdale) and Sen. Alan Clark (R – Lonsdale) prohibits sex-reassignment procedures on children. The law also prevents funding of sex-reassignment procedures performed on children. This law will protect children from being subjected to surgeries and procedures that can leave them sterilized and permanently scarred. Read The Law Here.
  • Act 461 / S.B. 354 (Protecting Fairness in Women’s Sports): This good law by Sen. Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View) and Rep. Sonia Barker (R -Smackover) would prevent male student athletes from competing against girls in women’s athletics. This would protect fairness for girls’ sports at school in Arkansas. Read The Law Here.
  • S.J.R. 14 (Religious Freedom Amendment): S.J.R. 14 by Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Jimmy Gazaway (R – Paragould) amends the Arkansas Constitution. It prevents the government from burdening a person’s free exercise of religion. The measure is similar to Arkansas’ state Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Family Council strongly supports this good amendment to the Arkansas Constitution. Read The Measure Here.

The ACLU indicated it plans to file lawsuits to block the state from enforcing Act 309 and Act 626.

If the ACLU follows through with its lawsuit against Act 309 (S.B. 6), it will give the federal courts an opportunity to reverse decades of bad case law on abortion — including possibly overturning or Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and other pro-abortion decisions.

The ACLU also said “The Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment [S.J.R. 14] would be among the most extreme of its kind in the country, giving people a basis to challenge and exempt themselves from virtually any state law.”

But that simply is not the case.

Most states in America have enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Acts similar to S.J.R. 14 already.

Alabama has had a religious freedom amendment very similar to S.J.R. 14 in its state constitution for many years.

Measures like S.J.R. 14 simply help restore protections for the free exercise of religion. It’s just a good amendment that will help ensure that our state constitution protects religious liberty in Arkansas.

That’s something that everybody ought to be able to support.