Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has shyed away from signing an extreme abortion ban

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday tried to shirk responsibility for signing a tough “trigger bill” that would ban abortion in his state with no exceptions for rape and incest, insisting that Arkansas would reconsider the matter if that were the case Roe v. calf has tipped over.

Amid the bombastic leak of the Supreme Court’s majority bill that would reverse federal abortion laws, Republican-run states have come under scrutiny for anti-abortion laws that take effect automatically if the Supreme Court overturns them Roe v. calf. One such state with this so-called “trigger” ban is Arkansas, which Hutchinson signed into law in 2019.

The state’s proposal would ban all abortions except for medical emergencies when the mother’s life is in danger, and makes absolutely no exceptions for rape and incest. During an appearance on CNN state of the nation On Sunday, however, Hutchinson claimed he opposed the sweeping nature of his state’s abortion ban.

“Your law knows only exceptions for the life of the mother. So, just to be clear, when Roe v. Wade is overthrown, no woman in Arkansas will be able to have an abortion unless her life is in danger,” said CNN anchor Dana Bash Hutchinson.

“If Roe v. Wade is reversed, the Trigger Act would go into effect in Arkansas. And whenever I have signed this law, I have expressed my support for those exceptions including rape and incest,” he replied. “The life of the mother and rape and incest are two exceptions that I think should have been added that were not endorsed in the General Assembly.”

He added that they’ll have to wait to see what the Supreme Court actually decides, if Roe v. calf actually reversed, it will “return authority to states” and “you will see states making different decisions based on the values ​​and consensus of the people of that state”. He also said that the “will of the people” of his state is reflected in what is known as Arkansas’ “trigger” law.

“Governor, you signed the law that contains no exceptions for rape and incest,” Bash pushed back. “I know you said you didn’t – you’d rather it wasn’t part of the law, but it is and you signed it.”

A hypothetical situation is presented in which a teenage girl has been impregnated by a family member state of the nation The host asked the governor why the girl should be forced to carry this pregnancy to term.

“I agree with you,” the Republican governor replied. “Even as governor, I had to deal with these special circumstances. And while it is still life in the womb, life of the unborn, the conception took place under criminal circumstances, either incest or rape. So those are two exceptions that I think are very appropriate. And what will happen when time passes, when Roe v. calf is reversed. Those are going to be very real circumstances.”

Hutchinson went on to say that he believes “debates and discussions will continue” on the subject and that the exceptions to rape and incest “could be very well considered” when it comes to the law of the state.

“Governor, what if it can’t be?” Bash wondered. “They wanted the Arkansas legislature to introduce these exceptions. You didn’t do it. Your term of office is almost up. What makes you think you can change it?”

After the CNN anchor added that young girls could soon find themselves in these situations, Hutchinson replied that “these are heartbreaking circumstances,” but that it all boils down to states having the power to pass their own laws on abortion .

“In the past few years, as we’ve passed these trigger laws, we’re expressing a belief,” he proclaimed. “We’re trying to return that authority to states and reduce abortions, but whenever you see real-life circumstances like this, the debate will continue and people’s will may or may not change, but it will come back to states’ flexibility.” In this regard.”

Hutchinson concluded, “I believe that overall, these exceptions will be important to saving lives because the public understands these exceptions and what they mean. It’s picked up again. There’s no guarantee of that, but public opinion matters when you come to your elected representatives.”

The Arkansas governor, who is considering a possible White House run in 2024, has also previously said he opposes a statewide ban on abortion — largely because it would strip states of the power to pass anti-abortion legislation.

“I think that goes against what we’ve been fighting for for decades, which is that we wanted this Deer vs Wade lifted and authorized to return to the States,” he told ABC In this week earlier this month. “It should be like that in principle.”

While Hutchinson balks at the extreme nature of his state’s abortion ban, which he signed into law, other GOP governors have focused on passing sweeping anti-abortion legislation. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, for example, said last week that it was his “intent” to urge his state to quickly pass legislation banning abortion with exceptions for rape and incest. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has shyed away from signing an extreme abortion ban


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