Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a law passed by the state legislature on Tuesday that would ban nearly all abortions in the state in a move that supporters hope will get the Supreme Court to reconsider overturning Roe v. Wade.
The law makes an exception only to save the life of the mother and does not give exceptions in the case of rape or incest.
Hutchinson reportedly had reservations about the bill’s direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and the lack of exceptions for rape and incest, but he signed it anyway.
The bill will not take effect until 90 days after the current legislative session closes, giving opponents plenty of time to challenge it as they have already promised to do.
States propose abortion bans
Arkansas is one of 14 states were outright bans on abortion have been proposed, in some cases as a reaction to other states that have moved to allow abortions up until birth or even to refuse medical care to a baby born alive after an attempted abortion.
Hutchinson has signed several restrictions on abortions into law since 2015 when he became governor.
He said he signed the bill because of “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”
The bill was passed 75-18 by the Republican-dominated legislature. Pro-life advocates want to take advantage of the court’s ostensible 6-3 conservative majority to attempt to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that legalized abortion.
“It’s time” to overturn Roe v. Wade
“It’s time for this decision to be overturned in the Supreme Court,” co-sponsor Republican Rep. Mary Bentley said of the measure.
But it is unclear whether the current makeup of justices are willing to consider fully overturning the decades-old ruling, which has been consistently upheld since it was instituted.
None of former President Donald Trump’s three nominees confirmed to the court has directly said they would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, so it remains to be seen whether that could even be a possibility.
Democrats will certainly fight tooth and nail to prevent any rollback of abortion rights, which they consider integral to women’s rights and even call “health care.”