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Arkansas Passes Law Requiring Survivors of Rape, Incest to Report Crime Before Seeking Abortion

On Wednesday, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill that requires victims of rape and incest to report the crime to police before seeking an abortion after the state’s 20-week limit.

The law will apply to other restrictive abortion cutoffs currently enacted by the state and will require abortion providers to document that a crime has been reported to law enforcement if an abortion is performed after 20 weeks, according to the Associated Press.

The new rule does not apply to the near-total abortion ban signed into law in March, which does not include exceptions for rape and incest, and which abortion rights advocates have promised to challenge in court before it takes effect this summer.

Opponents of the new law assert that it will further victimize and traumatize survivors of incest and rape by forcing them to go to the police before receiving abortion care. According to the Justice Department, three out of four sexual assaults are not reported to law enforcement.

The new legislation is part of a continued effort to pass anti-abortion laws that will challenge and overturn Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

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