Arkansas has not repealed its pre-Roe abortion ban, which is unconstitutional and unenforceable.
The ban provides that any person who administers or prescribes any medication with the intent to induce an abortion or employs other means to induce an abortion will be fined up to $1000 and imprisoned for one to five years. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-61-102 (Enacted 1969; Last Amended 1999). A court held that this ban is unconstitutional as applied to physicians and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting its enforcement against physicians. Smith v. Bentley, 493 F. Supp. 916 (W.D. Ark. 1980).
BAN ON ABORTION PROCEDURE
Arkansas outlaws a safe second-trimester abortion procedure with no exception to protect a woman's health. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 20-16-1201 to -1206 (Enacted 2009). Arkansas' law makes the provision of certain previability, second-trimester abortion procedures a felony, unless necessary to preserve the woman's life. Physicians in violation of the law would also be subject to disciplinary action by the State Medical Board, including fines from $25,000 to $100,000 or more, license suspension for up to one year, or license revocation. In addition, the law allows the parents of the pregnant woman, if she is under age 18, or the husband to bring a civil suit for damages against the physician. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 20-16-1201 to -1206 (Enacted 2009).
A court held that an earlier version of Arkansas' ban was unconstitutionally overbroad and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting its enforcement. Little Rock Family Planning Servs., P.A. v. Jegley, 192 F.3d 794 (8th Cir. 1999).
There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law. The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health. In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure. Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.