Trigger Law Statutory Cite(s)

Does this law have a potential impact on IVF/Reproductive medicine?

Why or why not?

  • Seemingly no impact on IVF or other ART procedures because the law prohibits abortion, which is defined as acting to terminate the pregnancy of a woman.
  • The statute does define “unborn child” to apply from fertilization to live birth, but this term is only used in the context of defining abortion to mean termination of a pregnancy causing the death of an unborn child.

Does this law explicitly reference IVF, assisted reproductive technology or reproductive medicine?

There are no explicit references to IVF or reproductive medicine services.

Are there any penalties in this law that could apply to ART procedures?


Relevant definitions

  • Abortion” means using or administering any instrument, drug, or other substance or device with the purpose to terminate the pregnancy of a woman.
  • Fertilization” means the fusion of human spermatozoon with a human ovum.
  • Unborn child” means an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.

Do the definitions/terms of the trigger law apply to other areas of state code?


What is the “trigger” for this law to take effect?

The trigger law is effective upon:
  • Certification by the Attorney General that the Supreme Court overrules, in whole or in part, the central holding of Roe v. Wade, thereby restoring to the State of Arkansas the authority to prohibit abortion;  or
  • Adoption of an amendment to the Constitution that, in whole or in part, restores to the State the authority to prohibit abortion.

Key provisions: What does the law prohibit and when does it apply?

The law prohibits a person purposely performing or attempting to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. 

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