Arkansas Gov. Claims He Disagrees With Abortion Ban He Signed into Law

Although he signed into law a 2019 triggering law that would ban all abortions in Arkansas “except for saving a pregnant woman’s life during a medical emergency” if Roe v. Wade overturnedRepublican Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he disagreed with the law’s lack of immunity for victims of rape and incest.

Appear on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Hutchinson tried to distance himself from the legislation he was responsible for introducing by saying an immunity from rape and incest – which is not currently in the law – would be “very appropriate.”

Hutchinson signed the law in 2019 even though he pushed the legislature to include cases of rape and incest. Hutchinson has supported and signed other Arkansas laws restricting abortion, including a 2021 ban he supports that would subject abortion providers to felony charges, including up to 10 years in prison. and up to $100,000 in fines. That law also does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities, only the life of the mother.

Host Dana Bash pushed Hutchinson into her place. “Your law only has exceptions for the life of the mother,” she said. “So just to be clear, if Roe v. Wade overturned, no woman, unless her life is at risk, can have an abortion in Arkansas? ”

“If Roe v. Wade is reversed, the activation law in Arkansas will go into effect,” Hutchinson said. “And whenever I signed that law, I expressed that I support… as well as the exceptions to rape and incest. The life of the mother and rape and incest are two exceptions that I believe should have been added that did not get support in the general assembly.”

Bash appealed to him about his hypocritical behavior, noting that while he said he disagreed, he still signed the bill into law. “Governor, you signed legislation that does not include any exceptions for rape and incest. I know you said it… you’d rather it wasn’t part of the law, but it’s true, and you signed it,” said the presenter.

Bash then asked Hutchinson to “discuss the real-world implications of this” and come up with a hypothesis. “For example, why is an 11- or 12-year-old girl forced by her father or uncle or another family member to bring that child to term?” she queries.

“I had to deal with that particular situation, even as governor,” Hutchinson replied. “And while it is still alive in the womb, the life of an unborn child… conception falls under the circumstances of crime, incest or rape. And so those are the two exceptions that I recognize, which I believe are very relevant.”

Hutchinson later said that he thought the immunity “would be reconsidered” if Roe was overturned, although he offered no evidence as to why he believed the stance of the legislature would change. But then he added a cop out. “There are no guarantees about that, but the has an important opinion whenever you come to your elected representatives,” he said.

Even without the inversion of Roe v. Wade, Arkansas has enacted strict limits on abortion. People who want an abortion must receive state-mandated counseling and wait 72 hours before the procedure can be performed at one of the only two clinics in the state that offer abortions. And an abortion after insemination after 20 weeks is possible only in cases of danger to life, rape, incest, or serious harm to physical health.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/asa-hutchinson-abortion-ban-rape-incest-1356932/ Arkansas Gov. Claims He Disagrees With Abortion Ban He Signed into Law

Sarah Ridley

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