Women In Arkansas Now Need A Man’s Permission To Get Abortions

Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

We wish we were kidding

First, Texas passed a law requiring women to hold "fetus funerals" after abortions, then Ohio introduced a bill criminalizing second trimester abortions, and now Arkansas has passed a law that forces women to have their partners' permission in order to access the procedure.

The bill, H.B. 1566, was recently passed as a provision under the Arkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009, which states that when a person dies, family members have to agree on what to do with their body. This bill includes aborted fetuses, meaning both mother and father of a fetus will need to agree on what to do with the remains. So a woman's partner will have to agree to an abortion, regardless of whether or not that baby was conceived via sexual assault or by an abusive partner. For women under the age of 18, the decision about what to do with fetal remains will belong to their parents or legal guardians. 

The bill is essentially a way to "make it harder" to access abortion, a NARAL Pro-Choice representative told HuffPost. “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,” he said. 

Personhood laws like this are a sly way for legislators to push an anti-abortion rights agenda and gain control over women's bodies and lives. “Some politicians have begun trying to make abortion functionally unavailable through insidious restrictions like this one,” NARAL's rep said. “Their intention is, of course, to make abortion unavailable by any means necessary.”

Needless to say, such strict abortion laws have proven to put women's lives at risk. Currently, the United States maternal mortality rate is the highest in the developed world.

After recently passing in Arkansas’ 2017 legislative session, this law will go into effect at the end of the month. However, the American Civil Liberties Union is putting up a fight. The organization has partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights to file a lawsuit against H.B. 1566. The first hearing for the lawsuit is July 13. It hopes to halt the legislation until a final decision has been made. 

“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,” members of the ACLU said in a statement. “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.”

Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, and so much more

Every weekend, we bring you #SOUNDCHECK—your destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week's round features 21 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, Tacocat, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"Please Me" - Cardi B and Bruno Mars
"Please Me" will pair perfectly with all of the Valentine's Day candy you just bought on clearance. Trust me, there couldn't be a more perfect time to listen to this ultra-'90s R&B track.

Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne
I'm honestly jealous of whomever Avril is singing about on "Goddess."

Tacocat - Grains of Salt [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

"Grains of Salt" - Tacocat
When I realized Tacocat was back, I literally turned around at my desk and yelled. It's a miracle.

"Can I Talk" - Caleb Steph
Caleb Steph's debut single proves that he's ready for the spotlight.

Betty - Betty Who
"You better recognize/ That you're wasting all my time" from "The One" is my new favorite response to every "photographer" on Tinder.

"Butterfly" - Kehlani
The only thing more beautiful than this cover art is Kehlani's voice.

SASAMI - Free (feat. Devendra Banhart) (Official Video)

"Free" - SASAMI feat. Devendra Banhart
I would have never predicted a SASAMI and Devendra Banhart collaboration, but I am 100 percent not complaining.

Rex Orange County - New House

"New House" - Rex Orange County
Alex O'Connor never fails to impress me with his soulful bedroom pop, and "New House" is no exception.


"Cuz I Love You" - Lizzo
Distorted guitar paired with Lizzo's belting vocals? Chills, literally. She did that!

"Heads Gonna Roll" - Jenny Lewis
Like if Stevie Nicks' voice met Father John Misty's lyrics.

"Get Well" - Donna Missal
Donna Missal tells me everything I needed to hear about breakups on "Get Well."

"Patient" - Monica Martin
Sultry and sweet.

"Whorey Heart" - TeaMarr
TeaMarrr's bouncy new song is an excellent roast of the kind of fuckboi we all know and hate.

"Ice Me Out (Remix)" - Kash Doll
Kash Doll shows that she knows her way around a beat on "Ice Me Out."

"Lips of Lips" - Tiffany Young
Definitely catch me driving around with my windows down this summer blaring "Lips on Lips."