Arkansas Legislature Sends Bill That Would Almost Completely Ban Abortion To Governor

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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The Arkansas legislature voted in favor of a pro-life bill Wednesday that would ban nearly all abortions, the Associated Press reported.

Arkansas’ Republican-held House voted 75-18 in favor of the bill to ban abortion except in cases where the mother is suffering a medical emergency, according to the Associated Press. This follows the Republican-controlled Senate passing the legislation last month, the Associated Press reported.

“It’s time for this decision to be overturned in the Supreme Court,” Arkansas State Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told her colleagues in reference to Roe v. Wade, according to the Associated Press.

However, the state’s Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has expressed reservations about the current proposal, the Associated Press reported, and will decide whether or not he signs the legislation into law next week. (RELATED: South Carolina State House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Making Almost All Abortions Illegal)

Since taking office in 2105, Hutchinson has signed a number of pro-life bills into law, according to the Associated Press. One such bill Hutchinson signed would trigger an automatic state-wide ban on abortion if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade. Hutchinson also signed a law that would ban abortion after 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, according to the Associated Press. The 2019 piece of legislation is currently on hold due to a legal challenge, the Associated Press noted.

“It’s pro-life legislation and I support pro-life legislation,” Hutchinson said before the House passed the bill, according to the Associated Press. Hutchinson will have five days not including Sunday to sign the bill into law once it is delivered to his desk, the Associated Press reported.

The bill does not carve out exceptions for rape and incest, according to the Associated Press. Democrats and pro-abortion legal groups are now gearing up to fight the legislation if it is passed.

“We don’t have to make women in this state collateral damage simply to advance a political cause,” Arkansas State Democratic Rep. Ashley Hudson said, according to the Associated Press.

The American Civil liberties Union of Arkansas wrote, “This abortion ban is plainly unconstitutional and we stand ready to challenge it and any effort to block Arkansans from care or dictate their personal medical decisions,” in a statement. “We will be seeing the state of Arkansas in court again,” the group vowed.