A Real-Life Horror Story for Women: Arkansas Law Would Force Rape Survivors to Notify Their Attacker Before Getting an Abortion

July 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Imagine you’re a woman who has been assaulted and raped. To add to the agony, you find that you are pregnant. But that’s not the end to the horror. In order to get an abortion, the state is compelling you to let the rapist know about the procedure!

This may seem like a nightmarish scenario out of a novel about a dystopian future. But it’s happening right now—in 2017 America. The state of Arkansas has just passed an anti-abortion law that makes it illegal for women to have an abortion without notifying the man who impregnated her—including if that man is someone who had raped her.

Adding to the reactionary perversity of this law, known as the “Tissue Disposal Mandate,” is that it is a provision being added to an existing law, called the Final Disposition Act, that gives family members of a person who has died say over what happens to the deceased’s body. Under the new provision just passed and set to go into effect at the end of July, the aborted fetus would be considered a deceased family member—and the man who impregnated the woman would have equal say with the woman regarding the disposal of the fetal tissue.

This is totally outrageous—and right in line with the Christian fascist anti-abortion movement’s fanatical, anti-scientific lies about how a fetus is a full human being with “rights” and claiming abortion is “murder.” No! Fetuses are not babies. Abortion is not murder. And women are not incubators—they are full human beings!

As Bob Avakian points out:

Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about. (From “ON ‘PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES,’ AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”)

While the new Arkansas law does not explicitly give the man involved in the pregnancy the right to force the cancellation of an abortion, the law requires that there must be agreement on the method of “disposal” of the fetal tissue—and the man could go to court if there is a difference of opinion. Doctors who performed abortion procedures could face criminal penalties if they failed to inform the man about how the tissue would be disposed of. If a woman is forced to go to court over this matter, she could be forced to delay getting an abortion beyond the point where abortion is legal in Arkansas—right now, the state bans abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy.


On top of the Tissue Disposal Mandate, Arkansas has passed three other recent anti-abortion laws:

*A ban on dilation and evacuation abortion, a safe and common procedure used in second-trimester abortions.

*A requirement that abortion providers disclose private medical information on patients under 17 to the police and preserve fetal tissue from abortions for those patients as “evidence.”

*A requirement that abortion doctors obtain medical records of a patient’s “entire pregnancy history”—a medically unnecessary measure that could result in the woman not being able to get an abortion before the 22-week cutoff.

Arkansas is a “leader” in anti-abortion laws at the state level—but it is hardly alone. While abortion still remains legal under the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, a barrage of state laws in recent years have put increasingly onerous restrictions on women’s right to abortion. Just in the first three months of 2017, 431 anti-abortion measures were introduced in various state legislatures, and five states (Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah, and Wyoming) passed 10 new laws adding to restrictions on abortion. Abortion clinics and doctors continue to be targets of violent threats and attacks from the anti-abortion movement.

And now there is a fascist regime in power in Washington that is taking the already intolerable situation faced by women under this system of capitalism-imperialism to a whole new level. Trump, the predator-in-chief, repeatedly tweets gross and violently misogynist attacks—helping to further whip up a culture of sexual assault, crude degradation, and objectification aimed at women. Mike Pence, the Christian fascist leader next in line behind Trump, vows to send Roe v. Wade “into the ash heap of history.”

There is a way to beat back the escalating assaults on women’s right to abortion—and to break all the chains that bind women under this system. This won’t happen by pinning hopes on the Democrats—under whose “legal but rare” stand on abortion, the Christian fascists continued to gain force and momentum. But it can happen by building massive political resistance to the war on abortion, as part of the movement for an actual revolution to overthrow the whole system of capitalism-imperialism at the soonest possible time and replace it with socialism—a radically new and better society moving toward a world free of all forms of exploitation and oppression (see the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA). And right now, there is an immediate and urgent need for people in their millions upon millions to be out in the streets as part of demanding, in the interests of humanity, that the Trump/Pence fascist regime must go!

Women Are Full Human Beings!

Fetuses Are NOT Babies!

Abortion Is NOT Murder!

Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!




Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.