UPDATE, 3/9/21: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today that he intends to sign Senate Bill 6, the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act. According to the Washington Times, Hutchinson said in a statement, “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.”
3/4/21: The Arkansas House has passed a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, sending it to the desk of pro-life Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R).
The Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act (Senate Bill 6) aims to ban all abortions except those committed to save the mother’s life; however, the deliberate killing of a preborn child is never truly medically necessary. If a mother’s health is at risk, an emergency preterm delivery is safer and faster than an abortion. Abortion purposefully ends the life of the child before delivery and in the second and third trimesters takes days to complete. A preterm emergency C-section can take just minutes. With preterm delivery, doctors can attempt to save both the mother’s and the baby’s lives.
In February, the Arkansas Senate passed the pro-life bill along party lines in a vote of 27-7. It recently passed the Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee as well before going to the House floor for a final vote. Under the bill, any abortionist who commits an abortion for reasons other than to save the mother’s life could face up to 10 years in prison. The women who undergo illegal abortions would not face charges.
Though Hutchinson is pro-life, he has expressed concerns surrounding this bill. “I’ve always historically signed every pro-life bill that’s come to my desk; this one has caused some pause because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” he explained on Tuesday.
“It does not include rape and incest exceptions, but I want to look that over,” he added. “Look at the prospects of it and then make a decision, but that will be down the road as well.”
He said on Wednesday that he has yet to take a position on the bill, but that he will review it and issue a statement sometime in the next week.
According to Life News, State Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the lead sponsor of the bill, explained that the legal challenge to Roe v Wade was actually the purpose of the bill. He hopes that if the bill is signed into law, any legal challenges will take it to the Supreme Court and lead to the overturning of the 1973 case that legalized abortion throughout the United States.
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