18-Week Abortion Ban Signed by Arkansas Governor
By Hunter Field
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an 18-week abortion ban into law on Friday, making Arkansas' abortion policy one of the most prohibitive in the U.S.
The Republican governor signed House Bill 1439 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs, which will outlaw abortion 18 weeks into a woman's pregnancy except in medical emergencies and in cases of rape or incest.
Abortion opponents trumpeted the bill as a victory for the unborn, but abortion-rights advocates decried the law as unconstitutional, promising to sue the state.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List group, thanked Arkansas lawmakers for HB1439.
"Arkansas has some of the nation's strongest pro-life laws and continues to expand protections for unborn children and their mothers, informed by science and compassion," Dannenfelser said. "At 18 weeks, nearly halfway through pregnancy, unborn babies are beginning to move and can hear sounds. Their facial features are developing, and an ultrasound can show if the child is a boy or girl. The humanity of the unborn child and the brutality of abortion is undeniable."
Meanwhile, Rita Sklar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said the General Assembly put its ideology ahead of women's health care.