Sexual Assault Survivors Must Now Inform Their Rapist If They Want An Abortion In Arkansas

The new bill further restricts women's access to their reproductive rights

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People really seem to struggle with concept of female autonomy Stateside, don't they?

In certain states, women must endure up to 72 hours waiting lists and counselling to get access to their reproductive rights.

An 18-year-old even created a comprehensive list of abortion restrictions state-by-state.

One of the other sneaky ways of pushing an anti-choice agenda are 'personhood laws' which humanise foetus' to such an extent it makes abortion extremely challenging, whilst not explicitly criminalising it.

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Protesters in Washington

Taking the United States one step closer to a Handmaid's Tale style dystopia, Arkansas has just passed a bill that ensures women must agree alongside the father what to do with the foetal remains.

This bill is slightly different to the recent suggestion in Oklahoma that women need to actively ask permission to have the abortion.

The bill H.B. 1566, which is a provision under the Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009, ensures that after a death, family members must agree over what to do with the deceased body.

This includes foetal remains, ensuring women will have to tell whoever impregnated her that they are planning on terminating their pregnancy.

If that isn't bad enough, it appears the bill has made no exceptions for those who are impregnated either by abusive partners or as a result of a sexual assault.

A representative for NARAL Pro-Choice told HuffPost that H.B. 1566 is a way to 'make it harder' to have an abortion.

He explained,

While proponents of this plan claim it's about embryonic-tissue requirements, the plain intention and unavoidable outcome of this scheme is to make it harder for a woman to access basic health care by placing more barriers between a woman and her doctor.Some politicians have begun trying to make abortion functionally unavailable through insidious restrictions like this one. Their intention is, of course, to make abortion unavailable by any means necessary.

Thankfully the civil rights organisation ACLU is going to file a lawsuit against the bill, which would otherwise will be enforced at the end of this month.

They released a statement saying,

Every day, women in Arkansas and across the United States struggle to get the care they need as lawmakers impose new ways to shut down clinics and make abortion unavailable We will fight politicians who not only seek to shame, punish, or burden women for making these decisions, but also try to push care out of reach.

Either way, it's bad news. The move simply makes it even more difficult for women to get safe, quick abortion access.

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