LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) – Arkansas lawmakers on Wednesday authorized a legislation banning almost all abortions, sending the invoice to a Republican governor who has expressed reservations concerning the determination.
The predominantly Republican Home voted 75-18 for the invoice, which bans all abortions besides these to save lots of the mom’s life in a medical emergency. The invoice, which handed within the Senate final month, contains no exceptions for rape or incest.
Arkansas is one among not less than 14 states the place a complete abortion ban has been proposed this 12 months, an effort by conservative Republicans to drive the US Supreme Court docket to rethink its 1973 Roe vs Wade determination. which legalized the process nationwide.
“It’s time for this determination to be overturned by the Supreme Court docket,” Republican Mary Bentley, sponsor of the measure, instructed members of the Home.
One other sweeping abortion ban was enacted by the governor of South Carolina final month, however was rapidly blocked by a federal decide as a consequence of a court docket problem by Deliberate Parenthood. Alabama enacted a near-total abortion ban in 2019 that was blocked as a consequence of authorized challenges.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has authorized a number of main abortion restrictions since taking workplace in 2015, stopped in need of saying whether or not he would signal the invoice and instructed reporters that he would decide subsequent week.
“That is pro-life laws and I help pro-life laws,” Hutchinson mentioned shortly earlier than the vote within the Home. The governor has 5 days, excluding Sunday, after the invoice is handed to him to behave earlier than it turns into legislation with out his signature.
The governor beforehand mentioned he was involved concerning the ban, to not point out the rape and incest exceptions, and Roe’s direct problem in opposition to Wade. A Nationwide Proper to Life legal professional instructed Hutchinson in a letter that the chances of the laws resulting in the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade had been “very distant and distant.”
Nationwide Proper to Life has not taken a place on the invoice, though its state affiliate and different Arkansas anti-abortion teams have supported the measure.
Democrats referred to as the measure excessive and mentioned such an outright ban, if handed, would lead girls to take harmful steps to terminate their pregnancies.
“We do not have to do collateral harm to girls on this state simply to advance a political trigger,” Democratic Consultant Ashley Hudson mentioned.
Arkansas has among the hardest abortion legal guidelines within the nation and two years in the past Hutchinson enacted a measure that will set off an abortion ban if the Roe determination was overturned. One other legislation signed by Hutchinson in 2019, banning abortion at 18 weeks pregnant, is on maintain as a consequence of a court docket problem.
Abortion rights teams have mentioned they’re able to outright problem the enactment. Deliberate Parenthood referred to as the invoice “the equal of a requirement letter” to the Supreme Court docket.
“This abortion ban is patently unconstitutional and we’re ready to problem it and any effort to stop the Arkans from treating themselves or dictating their private medical selections,” the US Civil Liberties Union mentioned. Arkansas in a press release. “We’ll see the state of Arkansas in court docket once more.”