Gov. Hutchinson: If Roe Overturned — Rape, Incest Exceptions to Arkansas Ban Can Be Revisited

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that his state could revisit the lack of exceptions for rape and incest in Arkansas abortion law if the Supreme Court overturned Roe. v Wade.

Hutchinson said, “If Roe v. Wade is reversed, the trigger law in Arkansas would come into effect. And whenever I signed that law, I did express that I support also the exceptions of rape and incest. The life of the mother and rape and incest are two exceptions I believe should have been added that did not have the support in the general assembly. And so we have to wait and see what the Supreme Court actually does, but if that Roe versus Wade is reversed, then what we’ve fought for 40 years and returning the authority back to the states will actually happen. You’ll see states making different decisions based upon the values and the consensus of the people of that state. In Arkansas, we actually passed a constitutional amendment supporting the life of the unborn and recognizing that. And so the will of the people of Arkansas has been expressed.”

Anchor Dana Bash said, “I know you said that you would rather that that not be part of the law, but it is, and you signed it. I want to discuss the real-world implications of this. For example, why should an 11 or 12-year-old girl who’s impregnated by her father or uncle or another family member be forced to carry that child to term?”

Hutchinson said, “I agree with you. I’ve had to deal with that particular circumstance even as governor. And while it’s still life in the womb, life of the unborn, the conception was under criminal circumstances, either incest or rape. And so those are two exceptions I recognize, I believe, are very appropriate. What will happen as time goes on if Roe versus Wade is reversed, these are going to become very real circumstances. I think the debate and discussion will continue, and that could very well be revisited.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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