Arkansas governor signed near total ban on abortion as ‘direct challenge’ to Roe v. Wade

by WorldTribune Staff, March 23, 2021

Earlier this month, Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans all abortions in the state with just one exception — if the procedure would save the life of the mother.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson / C-SPAN

Hutchinson said the “whole design” of the Arkansas law is to challenge the legality of killing the unborn.

“It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now,” Hutchinson said. “I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. That was the intent of it.”

“I think there’s a very narrow chance that the Supreme Court will accept that case, but we will see,” Hutchinson said.

The legislation won’t take effect until 90 days after the majority-Republican Legislature adjourns this year’s session. That means it can’t be enforced until this summer at the earliest.

Advocates for abortion said they plan to challenge the ban in court before then.

The ACLU of Arkansas said: “This extreme abortion ban is cruel and unconstitutional and it will have accomplished nothing but cause stress for patients, while ignoring the pressing challenges Arkansans face. Abortion is legal in all 50 states, including Arkansas, and we’ll fight as long as it takes to keep it that way. Governor Hutchinson: we’ll see you in court.”

Another sweeping abortion ban was signed into law by South Carolina’s governor last month but was quickly blocked by a federal judge due to a legal challenge by Planned Parenthood. Alabama enacted a near-total ban on abortions in 2019 that has been blocked because of court challenges.

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