Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Signs Bill Banning Most Abortions

Hutchinson
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law Tuesday that will ban most abortions in the state except those to save the life of the mother.

Hutchinson signed SB 6, the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, stating the measure is “a pro-life bill that prohibits abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency.”

“It does not include exceptions for rape and incest,” the governor said, adding his reservations about the legislation:

I will sign SB6 because of overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions. SB6 is in contradiction of binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law. I would have preferred the legislation to include the exceptions for rape and incest, which has been my consistent view, and such exceptions would increase the chances for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains tweeted in response the new law “goes against what the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld: Every person has a constitutionally protected right to access abortion care, including from trusted medical providers here in Arkansas.”

Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the bill’s sponsor, responded to a tweet by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that said, “We’re suing.”

“Isn’t it chilling?” he wrote. “When states stand up to save lives, these bloodthirsty groups declare they are suing to ensure that killing through abortion continues. I cannot trust any group that devalues human lives like the @ACLU.”

Rapert thanked Hutchinson for “standing with the Arkansas legislature and the people of the state” against abortion which, he said, is a “crime against humanity.”

Arkansas is one of more than a dozen states that have introduced legislation that, through challenges by stakeholders in the abortion industry, could lead to a review of Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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