By Erin Chessin
A new Arkansas law will allow the father of a pregnant woman’s child to sue her if she gets an abortion. There are no exceptions that prevent the father from suing, even in instances of rape and incest.
The Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act was signed and passed on Feb. 16 by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Many HSU students are concerned for how the law will affect women’s rights in the U.S. Sara Narajowski is a kinesiology major at HSU.
“The law is a huge step back for women’s rights,” Narajowski said.
She also said that all women deserve the choice to get an abortion because it is her body that is affected by the pregnancy.
“By pro-choice, every woman has the right to protect herself both physically and emotionally from having an unplanned pregnancy,” Narajowski said.
Abortion laws around the world vary, some countries are more strict about regulating abortion than others. While abortion is legal in the U.S, the new Arkansas abortion law could encourage other states to pass stricter abortion laws in efforts of discouraging women from choosing abortion. Students are concerned this law could cross over to different states and prevent women from having the choice to abort a child in the U.S.
Another debate that arises from the new law is whether the law is meant to undermine the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which gave women the right to get an abortion without having to state a reason.
Jason Martinez, a major criminal justice major at HSU, is shocked the law managed to pass.
“It’s unfair that a rapist can sue the mother of the unborn child for getting an abortion,” Martinez said. “It undermines how severe the act of rape is because the perpetrator can get money from committing a crime, without caring about the mother or the child.”
Martinez also said that a mother not being able to get an abortion can mean emotional and psychological consequences for the child’s life in result.
“People aren’t thinking about the child’s well being,” Martinz said. “If the mother has to have the child when she wasn’t financially prepared or was raped, this could cause psychological consequences for both the mother and baby.”
Kassidy Hayes is a biopsychology major at HSU.
“The law supports the subordination of women’s rights,” Hayes said.
Hayes said that she feels that abortion is not an easy choice, but it is a rightful choice women should have for the safety of her body.
“It’s interesting how these laws are being passed down by men, who will never know what it’s like to carry a baby,” Hayes said.
Currently, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas is seeking to challenge the abortion bill in court before it goes into effect in 2017.