SMALL ROCK, Arch. (AP) – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday signed into law a law banning almost all abortions in the state, a sweeping measure that hopes supporters will force the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, but opponents swear to block it until it takes effect later this year.
The Republican governor made reservations about the bill, which allows only to save the life of the mother in order; does not provide exceptions for those soaked in rape or incest. Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where lawmakers have proposed outright abortion bans this year.
Hutchinson said he was signing the bill because of his “overwhelming legislative support, my sincere and long-standing pro-Imam condemnation.”
The bans were sparked by Republicans who want to force the US Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 Roe v Wade ruling legalizing abortion in the country. Conservatives say the court is more open to overturning the ruling after three appointments by former President Donald Trump.
Since taking office in 2015, Hutchinson has signed into law a number of major abortion restrictions, but he has expressed concern that the bill directly challenges Roy’s rape exceptions.
“(The ban) contradicts the mandatory precedents of the US Supreme Court, but the purpose of the legislation is to lay the groundwork for the Supreme Court to overturn its current jurisprudence,” he said in a statement issued by his office. “I would prefer the legislation to include exceptions to the rape incest, which has been my firm view: such exceptions would increase the chances of a review by the US Supreme Court.”
The legislation will come into force 90 days after the postponement of this year’s session of the majority Republican legislature. That means it can’t be used until this summer at the earliest. Proponents of abortion rights say they plan to challenge the ban in court.