Jun 24, 2022 - News

Abortions in Arkansas now illegal, state AG says

Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, talks to reporters at Trump Tower, November 17, 2016 i

Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General in 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Performing abortions is now a felony in Arkansas, the state's Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced at a news conference Friday.

Driving the news: The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion, out earlier the same day, overturns the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which initiated an Arkansas "trigger law."

  • A contingency in the 2019 Arkansas law requires the state's attorney general to certify the SCOTUS opinion, so Rutledge's move makes the law active.

What they're saying: "I am proud to announce, as chief legal officer for the state of Arkansas, that the United states Supreme Court has in fact overruled Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey, thereby restoring the state of Arkansas the authority to prohibit abortions," Rutledge said.

Meanwhile: Before the attorney general's announcement, Planned Parenthood Great Plains — which serves Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri — told patients scheduled for care in Arkansas that they would not be seen.

Of note: Earlier Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted: "For decades I have said Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Today, the Supreme Court overturned the abortion ruling and returned the issue to the states. Arkansas is a pro-life state, and we are able now to protect life."

Go deeper:

The cost of an abortion ban in Arkansas

How Arkansas' abortion ban could affect lower-income residents

Arkansas prepared to ban abortion pending SCOTUS decision

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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