New Arkansas Anti-Abortion Law Lets Rapists Sue Victims

arkansas abortion law

And in the category of "news that will probably induce a fit of screaming or a full-blown panic attack," Arkansas has a new anti-abortion law that gives rapists the power to stop the women they raped from getting abortions. 

The crazy doesn't stop there, in fact, dare I say it, that's only the beginning. 

The Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, doesn't just threaten the rights of women. Under the law, doctors who perform abortions could face serious consequences too. 

(Shame on you, doctors, how dare you provide a safe haven for women looking to exercise their reproductive rights. *Eye roll*)

Here are the 3 outrageous (and infuriating!) things the Arkansas abortion law does: 


1. It bans the safest method of abortion past 14 weeks.

Under the new law, all dilation and evacuation procedures (also known as D&Es) will be outlawed after 14 weeks. 

Meaning that one of the safest methods of abortion, one that takes just 30 minutes and requires minimal aftercare, has been effectively removed from women in the state of Arkansas.

2. It gives potential fathers (and others) the ability to stop a woman from having an abortion.

The new law allows parents of minor children and the potential father of a fetus the right to sue pregnant women who decide to seek out a D&E abortion. 

That means the husband of married a woman could keep his wife from ending a pregnancy. (Bet you didn't know when you got married that you were essentially just giving your husband total control over your body! If that was the case, I bet you'd have had him changing your tampons years ago.)

What this also means that if a man rapes a woman, he can sue to force that woman if she becomes pregnant and seeks out an abortion. It also means if a father impregnates his daughter, he can force her to have his child.

As if the horror and trauma of rape weren't bad enough, now you want to legally give the rapist rights over his victim's body? 

3. Doctors are being targeted.

Under this law, people can sue doctors for women even approaching them to consult about a D&E abortion. And doctors who perform them face a $10,000 fine or up to six years in jail. 

Yep. That means a rapist can now get money for raping you. 


So how does this effect the rest of us?

Other states have passed similarly restrictive laws only to see them declared unconstitutional. Hopefully, that will be the case here, too. The ACLU is already making moves to make sure this legislation is struck down. 

Women in Arkansas who deserve the same rights and resources protected in this country under Roe v. Wade now know that their state doesn't stand behind them.

Even if you're an optimist and believe that the Supreme Court will overturn this law, what it can't overturn is the fear this type of legislation puts in the hearts of women and doctors. 

And what can't be erased is the message that women shouldn't be allowed to make medical decisions about their own bodies, and that men, even men who rape, are more competent women are.