Newsbreak

Arkansas lawmakers propose bill to ban nearly all abortions

Massachusetts, Utah

A proposed bill put forward by two Arkansas lawmakers would ban all abortions in the state except those committed to save the life of the mother. Though frequently mentioned as a reason for abortion, deliberately killing a child in the womb to save the life of his or her mother is never medically necessary, according to more than 1,000 medical professionals.

State Senator Jason Rapert (R) and State Representative Mary Bentley (R) introduced “An Act to Create the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act” on Wednesday. “It is time for the United States Supreme Court to redress and correct the grave injustice and the crime against humanity which is being perpetrated by their decisions in Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton and Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” said the legislators.

Under the proposed bill, a doctor or anyone who commits or attempts to commit an abortion could face a fine of up to $100,000 or 10 years in jail. “It is the intent of this subchapter to ensure that abortion in Arkansas is abolished and protect the lives of unborn children,” reads the bill.

The Family Council believes this bill — if passed — could threaten Roe v. Wade. “S.B. 6 will give the U.S. Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Family Council President Jerry Cox said in a statement. “Family Council fully supports the passage of this good law. This is an opportunity for Arkansas to be a real leader in the effort to end abortion in America.”

READ: Pro-life laws credited with saving 500 babies in Arkansas last year

He added that “Arkansans are overwhelmingly pro-life” and recent public polling shows 23% of Arkansans think abortion should be entirely illegal, while 59% believe it should be legal only under certain circumstances.

 

Current Arkansas law states that abortion may only be committed after 20 weeks in cases involving rape or incest, or to save the health or life of the mother. Additional laws include requiring parental consent before an abortion, a ban on telemedicine abortion, and a 72-hour waiting period with state-directed counseling before an abortion. A law passed in February 2019 will automatically outlaw abortion in the state in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned or an amendment is adopted that gives states the authority to prohibit abortions. Another law signed in March 2019 would have banned abortion after 18 weeks except in cases of medical emergencies or rape or incest; however, a judge blocked that law from taking effect.

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