Arkansas state Senate approves bill banning all abortions unless mother's life is threatened

Arkansas state Senate approves bill banning all abortions unless mother's life is threatened
© Stefani Reynolds

Arkansas state senators on Monday voted to pass a new measure that would ban nearly all abortions.

According to The Associated Press, the majority-Republican Senate approved the ban in a 27-7 vote. The bill must be approved by the House and signed by the governor to become law.

“Arkansas is asking and pleading that the U.S. Supreme Court take a look at this and make a decision that once again allows the states to protect human life," Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, the bill's sponsor, said before the vote, according to the AP.  


The new ban would prohibit all abortions unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman's life. That means a woman who becomes pregnant in cases of rape and incest would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term. 

State Sen. Jim Hendren, who just last week left the GOP, abstained from the vote and spoke out against the lack of an exception for rape victims. 

"In this bill, we’re going to tell a 12-year-old rape victim that because we believe so strongly in the right to life, she’s going to have to carry that baby to term regardless of the consequences it does to her or her family or her life," Hendren said.  

According to the AP, the state's GOP governor, Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonDozens of Republican governors call for meeting with Biden on border surge The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden's .5 trillion plan will likely have to shrink Sunday shows - Manchin says he won't vote for .5 trillion bill MORE, has concerns about the bill, saying the law has a very small chance of making it to the Supreme Court in a case that would result in overturning Roe v. Wade, one of the main goals of the law's sponsor.  

According to NARAL, Arkansas law currently makes abortion after 20 weeks a felony, with exceptions. The state previously passed stricter policies, but they have been blocked in court.

The new law in Arkansas comes just day after an abortion law passed in South Carolina and was then blocked in court.

The new law in South Carolina prohibits women from getting abortions after a heartbeat is detected, except in cases of rape, incest or when mother’s life is in danger.