Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed into law Senate Bill 6, the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which aims to abolish abortion in Arkansas and protect the lives of unborn children and all human life.
Before the bill made it to the desk of Governor Hutchinson, the Arkansas Senate passed SB6 along party lines in a vote of 27-7 back in February. This bill bans all abortions except in the case of a medical emergency to save the life of the mother. It does not include exceptions for rape and incest. Governor Hutchinson explained that he signed the bill due to the “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.” Under the bill, any abortionist who performs an abortion for reasons other than to save the mother’s life could face a fine of up to $100,000 or 10 years in prison. However, the women who receives illegal abortions would not face charges.
According to State Sen. Jason Rapert (R), the lead sponsor of the bill, the purpose was for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Specifically, SB6 states that “A crime against humanity occurs when a government withdraws legal protection from a class of human beings, resulting in severe deprivation of their rights, up to and including death.” With that being said, “It is time for the United States Supreme Court to redress and correct the grave injustice and the crime against humanity which is being perpetuated by its decisions in Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey” (SB6).
Conservatives are feeling confident that the court will consider reopening Roe v. Wade due to the three appointments made by former President Donald Trump. However, Governor Hutchinson shared a letter written by an attorney for abortion opponents National Right to Life that said the likelihood of the bill overturning the decision of Roe v. Wade was “very small and remote.” National Right to Life did not take a stance on the bill; however, their Arkansas affiliate supported the ban. The bill is facing push-back from pro-abortion groups who are prepared to challenge the ban. Planned Parenthood called the bill the “equivalent of a demand letter” to the Supreme Court. Nonetheless, State Sen. Jason Rapert (R) hopes that with the bill signed into law, any legal challenges will take it to the Supreme Court.
ARTICLE: GABRIELLA ANTOS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: US NEWS & WORLD REPORT