State Watch

Arkansas governor signs 'trigger' abortion ban bill

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Tuesday signed into a law a measure that would automatically ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Hutchinson's office said the governor signed the legislation, making it the fifth state with the so-called triggered abortion ban bill, The Associated Press reported.

The bills hinge on the belief that a more conservative Supreme Court could overturn its 46-year-old decision and return authority to legalize abortion to the states.

The law bans most abortions except for medical emergencies if the country's highest court were to overturn its previous decision. The state currently outlaws abortion 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Exceptions would not be allowed in cases of rape or incest, KUAR reported.

The legislation was passed in the Republican-controlled state legislature last week.

Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have similar "trigger" bans on the books. A similar measure has recently been introduced in Kentucky and Tennessee.

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