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Arkansas governor signs bill banning nearly all abortions



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday signed a controversial bill that makes nearly all abortions in the state illegal.

Senate Bill 6, now signed into law, bans all abortions unless the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. It does not include exemptions for rape and incest.

Hutchinson said in a statement that he signed the bill because of “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.” The Republican governor said the bill contradicts the “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 continued: “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.”

Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, authored the bill.

Sen Rapert released a statement Tuesday after the bill was signed saying the bill was drafted to be a challenge to Roe v. Wade.

“Pro-life groups from all over our state and nation stood with us to pass the strongest Pro-life bill ever passed by the Arkansas state legislature since Roe v. Wade,” Sen. Rapert said. “I must also thank the over 86,000 people who directly signed my online petition asking Gov. Hutchinson to sign SB6 into law.”

Opponents of the bill called it an example of government overreach. They said the bill would not end abortions but force those seeking the procedure to obtain it through illicit, and sometimes unsafe, means.

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