Arkansas Governor Signs Near-Total Abortion Ban

Tuesday marked the passing of Senate Bill 6, “one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country,” in the state of Arkansas. This means that abortion is banned in all cases except in that of  saving a pregnant woman’s life due to medical emergency, and exceptions will not be made for cases of rape and incest. “Performing or attempting to perform” an abortion is now considered an “unclassified felony,” and individuals who are convicted can receive a prison sentence or a fine up to $100,000. 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) made note that this action is indeed intended as a step on the way to the re-examination of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. “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 stated. “I would have preferred the legislation to include the exceptions for rape and incest, which has been my consistent view, and such exceptions would increase the chances for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.” This kind of action and sentiment has of course been strengthened by Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court last year. 

CNN writes, “The belief among Arkansas legislators is, clearly, that the near-total ban is just the sort of vehicle that the newly installed 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court could latch on to if they want to re-examine (or even overturn) Roe vs Wade, the landmark legislation in 1973 that made abortion legal in the United States.” South Carolina “enacted a law” recently which bans abortion in all cases if a heartbeat has been detected by ultrasound. With this law, however, there are exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and the woman’s life being in danger. Texas and Tennessee lawmakers have recently pushed abortion restrictions as well. 

However, abortion rights activists are up to the challenge. Said Holly Dickson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, “This extreme abortion ban is cruel and unconstitutional and it will have accomplished nothing but cause stress for patients, while ignoring the pressing challenges Arkansans face. Abortion is legal in all 50 states, including Arkansas, and we’ll fight as long as it takes to keep it that way. Governor Hutchinson: we’ll see you in court.”  


Join Our Mailing List

Recent Articles

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!