18-Week Abortion Bans Sent to Governors in Arkansas and Utah
By Andrew DeMillo
Lawmakers in Arkansas and Utah sent their governors legislation Wednesday banning most abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, moving the states closer to enacting bans that could be among the strictest in the country.
The Arkansas House gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill there, which Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. Arkansas already bans abortion 20 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Hutchinson told reporters he believed the restriction would likely survive a court challenge.
“It’s within the second trimester that states are allowed to pass restrictions on, and this, with the science we have today it seems like a very appropriate restriction,” Hutchinson said shortly before the measure passed the House.
The House had approved an earlier version of the bill and on Wednesday backed an amendment adding exceptions for rape and incest. The measure already included an exception for medical emergencies.
The 18-week bans would be the strictest in the country if enacted, though proposals to ban abortion earlier in a woman’s pregnancy are advancing in several other state legislatures.