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Arkansas signs law banning most abortions, triggering possible high court action

Arkansas State Capitol Building Photo: Don Morgan/KTSA

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed into law legislation banning nearly all abortions in the state. It is a sweeping measure supporters hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its landmark Roe v. Wade decision – but opponents vow to block before it takes effect later this year.

The Republican governor expressed reservations about the bill, which only allows the procedure to save the life of the mother and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in cases of rape or incest. Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year.

The bans were pushed by Republicans who want to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Conservatives believe the court is more open to striking down the decision after ex-President Donald Trump’s three appointments to the court.

Hutchinson has signed several major abortion restrictions into law since taking office in 2015, but he had voiced concerns that this bill directly challenges Roe and about the lack of rape and incest exceptions. He repeated those concerns as he announced his decision.


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