Arkansas Tightened Abortion Law

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Even after incest or rape, abortions are to be banned in the US state of Arkansas. Civil rights activists criticize this as cruel.
In the US state of Arkansas, an almost complete ban on abortion is to come into force. Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a law that allows these terminations only if the mother’s life is in danger. Exceptions for pregnancies after rape or incest are no longer provided. Arkansas is one of at least 14 states in the United States where MPs have introduced sweeping abortion bans.

Supporters of the Arkansas measure hope it will force the US Supreme Court to reverse the landmark decision in favour of abortion, also known as Roe v. Wade, to put to the test. With Roe v. Wade, abortions were legalized in the United States in 1973, one of the most well-known landmark judgments in legal history. The highest court ruled at the time that the Texas ban violated the constitutional right to privacy. This Supreme Court judgment is still quoted today when it comes to the subject.

70-year-old Republican Hutchinson has raised concerns about the law, mainly because of the lack of exemptions for rape and incest. Exceptions would have increased the chances for a review before the Supreme Court, it said in a statement from his office. Nevertheless, he signed the draft because it had “immense support among the MPs” and was in line with his convictions as an opponent of abortion. The bill will take effect 90 days after the end of this year’s Arkansas session. This means that it can only be enforced in summer at the earliest.

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