A bill outlawing nearly all abortions is headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the Arkansas state legislature passed it this week, marking the latest in a string of pro-life laws enacted by GOP-led states in an effort to defend innocent life.
The “Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act” would ban all abortions except those done “to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.” The bill doesn’t carve out exemptions for rape, incest, or fetal anomalies. And while women who obtain abortions aren’t punished under the law, any abortionist caught performing elective abortions in violation of the law face a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.
Hutchinson has already said he plans to sign the bill into law, acknowledging it faces an uphill battle in court – one he says is intentionally designed to push the issue all the way up to SCOTUS.
“I will sign SB6 because of overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions,” Hutchinson said. “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.”
Hutchinson added he'd have preferred the bill include a rape and incest clause, saying he believes those exceptions would have helped the bill reach SCOTUS.
The bill passed in the state Senate 27-7, and soared through the House 76-19.