Arkansas passed a new law that bans nearly all abortions in the state, a radical move that supporters hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to review Roe v Wade, but opponents promise to block before it takes effect late. of this year.
Republican state governor Asa Hutchinson said he was signing the bill because of his “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and enduring pro-life convictions.”
Hutchinson has enacted several major abortion restrictions since taking office in 2015, but had raised concerns about the bill, which only allows the life-saving procedure of the mother and provides no exceptions for pregnant women in an act of rape or rape. incest. He repeated those concerns when he announced his decision.
“(The ban) contradicts the binding precedents of the United States Supreme Court, but the intention of the legislation is to set the stage for the Supreme Court to overturn current jurisprudence,” he said in a statement issued by his office. “I would have preferred the legislation to include rape and incest exceptions, which has been my consistent view, and such exceptions would increase the chances of a review by the United States Supreme Court.”
Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where lawmakers have proposed outright abortion bans this year.
The bans were pushed by Republicans who want to force the supreme court to review its 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalizes abortion across the country. Conservatives believe the court is more open to overturning the decision after Donald Trump’s three appointments to the court.
Arkansas legislation will not go into effect until 90 days after the Republican-majority legislature adjourns this year’s session. That means it can’t be enforced until this summer at the earliest. Supporters of abortion rights said they plan to challenge the ban in court before then.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas called the ban “cruel and unconstitutional.”
“Governor Hutchinson: See you in court,” said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas.
“This is politics at its worst,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund, said in a statement. “At a time when people need financial assistance and basic safety precautions, dismantling access to abortion is cruel, dangerous and blatantly unfair.”
Arkansas has some of the strictest abortion measures in the US And two years ago Hutchinson signed into law a law that would ban the procedure if Roe’s decision is overturned. Another measure Hutchinson signed in 2019 that bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy is on hold due to a legal challenge.
Several other restrictions are still being considered in the legislature, including one passed by the Senate a day earlier that would require that a woman who undergoes an abortion be shown an ultrasound first.
The South Carolina governor enacted another radical abortion ban last month, but it was quickly blocked by a federal judge due to a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood. Alabama enacted a near-total ban on abortions in 2019 that has been blocked due to court challenges.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism