Arkansas Governor Signed Abortion Bill to Challenge Roe v. Wade


Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas.

Halle Saldivia, Reporter

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Sunday that he signed a near-total abortion ban on March 9, saying the bill was designed to “directly challenge” the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that protects a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

“It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Dana Bash of the Arkansas law, before saying he thinks there’s a “very narrow chance” the Supreme Court will ultimately hear the case. Arkansas abortion laws prevent women from getting abortions “except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency,” and makes no exceptions for instances of rape, incest or fetal anomalies. Those found to violate the law could face a fine of up to $100,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

Advocates for a woman’s right to choose are planning to challenge the law in court before it goes into effect. “Abortion is legal in all 50 states, including Arkansas, and we’ll fight as long as it takes to keep it that way,” said Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arkansas, Holly Dickson. “Governor Hutchinson: We’ll see you in court.”

The law is scheduled to go into effect in August, though there are likely to be a slew of legal challenges before then.

Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the Constitution of the United States protects a woman’s freedom to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions.