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August 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A federal court has cleared Arkansas to enforce a series of abortion restrictions bitterly opposed by the abortion lobby, including a ban on second-trimester dismemberment procedures.

CBS News reports that last Friday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that had blocked the 2017 restrictions, the most significant of which is a ban on the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure (more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions” because they tear a preborn baby apart limb by limb). The ban takes effect August 28, and abortionists will face up to six years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for violating it.

The other newly implemented rules are a requirement that abortionists notify law enforcement when a girl younger than seventeen seeks an abortion (to better identify instances of potential sexual abuse), a requirement to confirm that an abortion is not sought on the basis of sex selection, and a requirement that family members of the mother be involved in deciding how to dispose of an aborted baby’s remains.

“I have always advocated for the lives of unborn children and will continue to defend our state’s legal right to protect the unborn,” Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge responded, celebrating the court’s ruling.

Notably, the Eighth Circuit’s ruling cited June Medical Services v. Russo, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down Louisiana’s requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital. 

Despite that ruling’s pro-abortion outcome, the Eighth Circuit seized upon Chief Justice John Roberts’s acknowledgment that “the appropriate inquiry under Casey is whether the law poses ‘a substantial obstacle’ or ‘substantial burden, not whether benefits outweighed burdens.’” Roberts also “emphasized the ‘wide discretion’ that courts must afford to legislatures in areas of medical uncertainty,” the Eighth Circuit added.

Defenders of dismemberment abortions claim they are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers suspect that abortionists actually prefer them because they can fit more into their schedule and therefore make more money. “Dismemberment abortion facilitates fetal harvesting,” Kansans for Life executive director Kay Culp told LifeSiteNews last year. “Clinicians experimenting on aborted baby parts don’t want their research tainted by drugs, and, they want fresh organs — packed for shipping within minutes of death.”

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