(Editor's note: This story was published in May but has been updated following Friday's Supreme Court decision)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ended constitutional protections for abortion in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday's outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, including in Arkansas.
Here’s what you need to know.
What happens in Arkansas now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned?
Arkansas already has a “trigger law” that states if Roe and a related court case called Planned Parenthood v. Casey were ever overturned, abortions would become illegal except in instances to save a pregnant person’s life.
All that is required for the trigger law to go into effect is the attorney general certifying that the core holdings of Roe and Casey have been overruled.
On Friday afternoon, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling in accordance with Act 180 of 2019. This in turn certified Arkansas's Trigger Abortion law.
Is the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade expected to affect anything other than abortion?
Since a draft opinion was leaked in May, civil rights activists have been concerned that the decision would open the door to overturning other landmark cases.
Ali Taylor, co-founder and president of the Arkansas Abortion Support Network, said she is particularly concerned about the future of contraceptive access, marriage equality and other civil rights.
Read more about Friday's Supreme Court decision here. And read more about Rutledge’s comments on the trigger law and other responses from Arkansans on both sides of the issue, from a team of our reporters.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated which official must certify the conditions of the trigger law have been met for it to go into effect. The official who must certify is the attorney general.