March 8, 2013

Liberty Counsel Supports Pro-Life Legislation Passed in Arkansas

Little Rock, AR – Liberty Counsel is pleased to support pro-life legislation passed this week in Arkansas.

The Human Heartbeat Protection Act states that when an abortion is performed at or after the 12th week, doctors must test for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. If a heartbeat is detected, a woman cannot have an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and if a mother’s life is in danger.

State Senator Jason Rapert is the primary sponsor of the bill. Liberty Counsel also provided counsel on the bill. “The Human Heartbeat Protection Act is a commonsense bill that comports with medical science about human development. It protects the life of the pre-born child and the mother,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

As the state legislature was overriding the Governor’s veto of SB 134, the ACLU and other pro-abortion advocates were vowing to challenge the Human Heartbeat Protection Act in court.

“If asked, Liberty Counsel will defend this law without reservation, free of charge for the people of Arkansas, born and unborn,” said Staver. “In keeping with medical advances, history, and common sense, the Arkansas legislature has said that the life of a 12-week-old unborn child with a detectable heartbeat is protected under the law.”

“What Arkansas is doing is neither radical nor unconstitutional,” said Staver. “Society has protected unborn babies, dating from ancient Greece to the present day. Common law in England and the United States, with support from the medical and legal professions, recognized that ‘[l]ife is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb.’” This understanding remained the prevailing view in the United States through the middle of the 20th Century, when a societal shift prompted a liberalization of criminal laws, including Roe v. Wade.

“However, in personal injury, criminal, and wills and estate law, the law has continued to recognize the unborn child as a human with legal protections, not merely a ‘potential’ human being,” Staver said. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion cases are an aberration to law and stand on an island by themselves, and that island will one day disappear. We need to protect human life at all stages of development,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topic.



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