The Governor Of Arkansas Just Outlawed This Abortion Procedure

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The 2017 war against reproductive rights wages on. Thursday, Reuters reported that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that outlaws dilation and evacuation, a common abortion procedure that takes place during the second trimester.

Dilation and evacuation, according to Planned Parenthood, is an in-clinic abortion procedure that "uses suction and medical tools to empty your uterus." The cervix is dilated and numbed before a doctor uses tools to remove tissue.

While dilation and evacuation is considered one of the safest methods of abortion, those who support this bill feel it is barbaric and entails the "dismemberment" of the fetus. Similar laws have been adopted in Mississippi and Louisiana, and have been challenged in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama.

"The law puts an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to obtain a second-trimester abortion, and I think the legislature knows it and doesn’t care," says an attorney for the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Rita Sklar. Sklar is one of the opponents of the bill who are planning to fight it in court.

However, Governor Hutchinson, encouraged by the increased attempts to regulate reproductive rights by the new government, feels it could hold up in court due "evolving medical standards." It all hinges on how we define trimesters, as well as how the restriction affects a woman's constitutional right to an abortion as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

Reuters also reports that, according to the Arkansas Health Department's 2015 records on abortion, dilation and evacuation made up 683 of the 3,771 total abortions performed in the state.

No matter what, this new bill will certainly create complications for women's access to their healthcare.
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