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Rutledge: Arkansas will immediately ban abortions if Roe v. Wade overturned

by Stephen Simpson | May 3, 2022 at 5:10 p.m.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaks during a news conference to announce the lawsuit filed against Family Dollar following a rodent infestation at its West Memphis distribution center, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced that if Roe v. Wade is overturned the state has a “trigger law” that will immediately ban abortions within the state except to save the life of the mother. 

Rutledge held a “pen and pad” session on Tuesday after the Supreme Court draft opinion became public that showed that the high court was prepared to throw out the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling that has stood for a half century. 

“In 2019, Arkansas passed Act 180, a trigger law that bans and bars abortions in any event if the Supreme Court overrules Roe and Casey. Under that law, it will be my responsibility as the attorney general of the state of Arkansas to certify that the United States Supreme Court has overruled Roe and Casey so that way Arkansas can immediately ban abortions and that will take effect immediately,” Rutledge said. 

“In the event that this decision, this draft that we saw does in fact become final it will be my honor and the privilege of my lifetime to do just that.” 

Nicholas Bronni, the solicitor general, said the certification was the key for the total abortion ban to go into affect. 

“The procedure set out in the bill is basically that the attorney general certifies that the core holdings of Roe and Casey have been overruled,” he said. “The moment she does that the act becomes effective. “ 

The Supreme Court opinion being leaked has been a talking point among Republican leaders with Rutledge saying it was an attempt to rip at the seams of the judicial process. 

“The person who leaked this or the individuals who leaked this is no different than those who wished to tear down our Capitol on Jan. 6th,” she said. “This is an act of insurrection. Ripping at the seams and breaking that confidentiality.” 


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