Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law

Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: On Tuesday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law legislation banning nearly all abortions in the state. This is a sweeping step that supporters hope will force the United States Supreme Court to revisit its landmark Roe v. Wade decision but opponents of the legislation vow to block before it takes effect later this year.

The Arkansas governor, a Republican, had expressed reservations about the bill, which only allows the procedure to save the life of the mother and doesn’t provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest. Arkansas is one of at least 14 states in the US where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year.

Governor Hutchinson said he was signing the bill because of its “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”

The bans were pushed by Republicans who want to force the US Supreme Court to revisit its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Conservatives believe the Supreme Court is more open to striking down the decision following former President Donald Trump’s three appointments to the court.

“We must abolish abortion in this nation just as we abolished slavery in the 19th century – all lives matter,” Republican Senator Jason Rapert, the bill’s sponsor said in a statement.

Since taking office in 2015, Hutchinson has signed several major abortion restrictions into law, but he had voiced concerns that this bill directly challenges Roe and about the lack of rape and incest exceptions.

The governor repeated those concerns as he announced his decision.

In a statement released by his office: “(The ban) is in contradiction of binding precedents of the US Supreme Court, but it is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law.”

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