March 8, 2013 — The Los Angeles Times and New York Times recently published an opinion piece and editorial, respectively, criticizing the Arkansas Legislature's recent enactment of legislation (SB 134) that prohibits most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Summaries of both pieces appear below.
~ Dan Turner, Los Angeles Times' "Opinion L.A.": The Arkansas law "is stepping so far over the line that I wonder if even its authors can take it seriously," according to Times opinion writer Turner, who notes, "The bill is a direct violation of the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision, which says abortions can be banned only after a fetus would be able to survive on its own outside the womb, generally defined as 23 weeks." He concludes, "[N]ow that they've gotten over ... their ... partisan rancor, I hope the members of Arkansas' Legislature can get on with the actual business of running their state" (Turner, "Opinion L.A.," Los Angeles Times, 3/7).
~ New York Times: The 12-week ban "stands little chance of surviving a court challenge, but it is distressing in 2013 that a woman's right to make her own childbearing decisions is under such aggressive attack by far-right lawmakers," the editorial states, adding that "the Republican-led Legislature in Arkansas took the campaign to a new extreme." The editorial notes that Arkansas "is hardly alone in its devotion to turning out new abortion restrictions," with 278 such measures introduced in state Legislatures so far this year (New York Times, 3/7).