Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is petitioning the US Supreme Court on behalf of the state’s 12-week abortion ban, asking the justices to overturn a lower court’s ruling against the law, and in the process calling on them to reconsider Roe v. Wade.
Calling the infamous 1973 ruling’s cutoff for the right to abortion at fetal viability “arbitrary, untenable and constitutionally infirm,” Rutledge’s office argues that “Arkansas and other States should be allowed to advance their profound interests in defending the life of the unborn, which is exactly what the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act accomplishes.”
The state’s attorneys also made the point that the Roe court ruled partly on the prospect of women having to raise an unwanted baby, a concern they argue is no longer valid due to the prevalence of safe haven laws enabling mothers to anonymously leave newborns with police, fire, or hospital personnel.
They conclude that the heartbeat abortion ban strikes a “fairer, more reasonable, and more humane” balance than “the viability rule, which ignores many critically important developments since [1973…] It is a balance crafted by an elected and accountable legislature and not by an unelected and unaccountable court.”
Holly Dickson, an attorney with the Arkansas chapter of the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union, predicted the Supreme Court would “find nothing to review” and uphold the “long-standing precedent” of Roe v. Wade.