Arkansas governor signed strict abortion bill ‘because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade’

by Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, March 21, 2021

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson revealed he signed a near-total abortion ban in his state “because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.”

During a segment of CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Hutchinson was asked if he signed the legislation in the hope that the Supreme Court would be given an opportunity to review the landmark case which solidified abortion rights in the United States.

“Yes, that was the whole design of the law,” Hutchinson said.

“It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now, and I did prefer a rape and incest exception,” he added. “I didn’t get a vote on that. 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’ll see, and again — I would prefer — it’s been my historic position that three exceptions would be rape, incest, and the life of the mother, but this is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, and that’s the intent of the legislation.”

The governor’s comments follow the passage of SB6, dubbed the “Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act,” which prohibits abortion in every circumstance, except in the event a mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. The bill will ban healthcare providers from performing the procedure and does not make exceptions for instances of rape, incest, or fetal anomalies.

“I will sign SB6 because of overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions,” the Republican governor wrote in a statement earlier in the month. “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.”

The legislation was slammed by abortion-advocacy groups, including Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of the procedure in the country.

“This is politics at its very worst,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement. “At a time when people need economic relief and basic safety precautions, dismantling abortion access is cruel, dangerous, and blatantly unjust. The same politicians who are fixated on controlling our reproductive health care have spent the past year pushing back on scientific guidelines that will keep people safe and alive during a pandemic. Their hypocrisy is clear as day. Our patients deserve better. Planned Parenthood will work alongside its partners to fight this attack on our rights and freedoms.”

The bill passed with majorities in the Arkansas Legislature, going through the Senate on a 27-7 vote, with one “present” vote, and through the House 76-19, with four representatives abstaining and a single “present” vote.

This article first appeared HERE.