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Arkansas governor signs into law near-total abortion ban, challenging Supreme Court ruling

The law does not provide exceptions for abortions as a result of rape or incest.

Published: March 10, 2021 9:18am

Updated: March 11, 2021 11:21am

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a law banning nearly all abortions in the state.

The Republican governor signed the law on Tuesday, banning all abortions in the state except those to save the life of the mother. The bill also outlaws abortions as a result of rape or incest.

Hutchinson said he signed the measure into law despite reservations about not having exceptions for rape or incest exceptions,  because of its "overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions," according to the Associated Press

The governor also acknowledged the ban 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," he also said.

The legislation won't take effect until after the legislature adjourns, meaning it won't be enforced until this summer at the earliest.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas attacked the bill calling it "cruel and unusual," and told Hutchinson, "We'll see you in court."

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