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Arkansas Gov. Signs New 'Trigger' Law That Would Ban Abortion if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed a bill into law Tuesday that would ban abortion in the state if the Supreme Court ever overturned their 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure.


The “Arkansas Human Life Protection Act” passed the state senate last week and would ban all abortions except in cases where the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother. The measure would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, but would not penalize the woman obtaining it.

Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota all have similar “trigger” laws on the books and the Tennessee legislature is debating such a measure. The Kentucky House just passed similar legislation this week.

The bills signal some hope from the states that a more conservative Supreme Court could overturn the landmark abortion ruling in the near future. However, thus far the court with President Trump’s two newly-appointed justices has been reluctant to take up cases on the politically-charged issue. Their recent decision to temporarily block a Louisiana abortion restriction was split as Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices.


Despite these indications that the high court is still very much divided on the issue, abortion groups are alarmed by such efforts in the states.

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