State Watch

Arkansas to require victims to report cases of rape, incest before getting an abortion

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a bill into law on Wednesday that requires victims of rape and incest to first report the crime to police before undergoing an abortion past the state’s 20-week limit.

The legislation will apply to other abortion cutoffs and will require abortion providers to document that a crime has been reported to law enforcement if the abortion is performed after 20 weeks, local station KATV reports.

According to the outlet, opponents of the bill argue that it will only further victimize women. KATV notes that the majority of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

Supporters of the bill, which will go into effect in the summer, argued that it will give the state better information on how many abortions are performed because of rape and incest.

This new bill does not apply to the near-total abortion ban Hutchinson signed earlier this year that does not make exceptions for incest or rape, KATV reports.

Hutchinson said at the time of bill’s signing that it was purposefully written to go against Supreme Court precedents in an attempt to overturn current case law.

Hutchinson had said he would have preferred to include exceptions for rape and incest but stated he would sign the bill regardless of whether it went against his personal beliefs. The bill only allows abortions if the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman carrying it.

Tags Abortion in Arkansas Abortion law abortion rights Arkansas Arkansas abortion bill Asa Hutchinson
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