LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation banning nearly all abortions, sending the bill to a Republican governor who has expressed reservations about the move.
The majority-Republican House voted 75-18 for the bill, which bans all abortions except those to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. The bill, which passed the Senate last month, does not include any exceptions for rape or incest.
Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where outright abortion bans have been proposed this year, an effort by conservative Republicans to force the U. S. Supreme Court to revisit its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.
“It’s time for this decision to be overturned in the Supreme Court,” Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, a sponsor of the measure, told House members.
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.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has approved several major abortion restrictions since taking office in 2015, stopped short of saying whether he’ll sign this bill and told reporters he’d make a decision next week.
“It’s pro-life legislation and I support pro-life legislation,” Hutchinson said shortly before the House vote. The governor has five days, not counting Sunday, after the bill is delivered to him to take action before it becomes law w... (Read more)
Submitted 44 days ago