Governor Asa Hutchinson just signed into law bill SB 149, making Arkansas the fifth state to implement a “trigger” abortion ban, a law that will go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
As the measure itself states, “It is the intent of this subchapter to ensure that abortion in Arkansas is abolished and protect the lives of unborn children.”
The bill will effectively outlaw all forms of abortion at every stage of pregnancy in Arkansas. The only exception will be in cases of medical emergency, which the bill also outlines in detail.
The bill also compares the Supreme Court’s decisions to uphold abortion to its past decisions to upholding slavery and Jim Crow era segregation, and urges the Supreme Court to “do the right thing… and reverse, cancel, overturn, and annul Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
As reported by KUAR, the vote passed the Republican majority House 72-20 on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Gov. Hutchinson then signed the bill into law the following Tuesday, February 19, according to Morgan Gstalter at The Hill.
Time will tell whether this law, or similar trigger bans passed in other states, will be able to go into effect in the practical sense. This, of course, is dependent on whether the Supreme Court reverses their decision on Roe v. Wade, or some other change is made allowing state laws to trump the federal ruling.
But regardless, these laws make clear that there is a real, grassroots pro-life movement that is gaining momentum. We shall see if similar proposed legislation in Kentucky and Tennessee passes in the weeks to come.