While other states in the union seem to be attempting to pass bills that will allow abortion in all three trimesters without limits — like New York (which is now law), Vermont, and Illinois — others are heading in the opposite direction. Multiple states (like Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, and others) are in the process of passing legislation banning abortion after a heartbeat can be detected early in the first trimester. And this week, in Arkansas and Utah, legislators passed bills banning abortion after 18 weeks. Time notes that in Arkansas, “the 18-week proposal is among several abortion restrictions that have moved quickly through the majority-Republican Legislature,” as the state already has a new law that will ban abortion there if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. Time adds:
The Arkansas House gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill there, which Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. Arkansas already bans abortion 20 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Hutchinson told reporters he believed the restriction would likely survive a court challenge.
Utah has already passed a ban on Down syndrome abortions, which will only be upheld pending a higher court decision. However, it is uncertain whether Governor Gary Herbert will sign an 18-week abortion ban into law even though he is thought to be pro-life.
Heather Stringfellow of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah told 2News in Salt Lake City, “It is unconstitutional, which the legislature knows, and we will file a lawsuit and ask for a temporary restraining order to keep this from going into law.” In addition, the ACLU has said it will also sue if the ban is signed into law.
Time claims the 18-week bans would be “the strictest in the country” if upheld.
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