LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Asa Hutchinson has released a statement announcing his intention to sign Senate Bill 6, which would ban abortion in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother.
The measure, titled “Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act,” was introduced by Senator Jason Rapert and Senator Mary Bently.
Hutchinson noted the bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest, which contradicts current precedents set by the Supreme Court.
The governor said that he would have wanted to see those exceptions in the bill but believes it is the “intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law.”
“SB6 is a pro-life bill that prohibits abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. It does not include exceptions for rape and incest.
“I will sign SB6 because of overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions. 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. 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.”
The bill passed with overwhelming majorities in the Arkansas legislature, going through the Senate on a 27 to 7 vote with 1 “present” vote, and through the House 76 to 19, with 4 representatives abstaining and a single “present” vote.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.