Arkansas is the latest state to pass legislation banning almost all abortions, in an effort to prompt the Supreme Court to revisit and overturn Roe v. Wade.
Governor Asa Hutchinson on March 9 signed Senate Bill 6, also known as the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions except when medically necessary to save the life of the mother.
The law provides for an “unclassified felony” for anyone who performs an abortion in the state except in a medical emergency, with a fine of up to $100,000, ten years in prison, or both.
The new law does not carry charges or convictions for mothers of unlawfully aborted children.
Catherine Phillips, Respect Life Director for the Diocese of Little Rock, noted that the diocese – which covers the whole state of Arkansas – has supported the legislation, and Bishop Anthony Taylor released a statement supporting it last month.
Phillips told CNA SB6 helps move the state in a pro-life direction by protecting the rights of innocent, unborn babies.
She also noted that the law has received attention for its lack of exception for rape and incest. “Women or children who are victims of these deplorable and violent acts must be given compassionate care and support,” she said, but added that “it is a grave moral evil to kill the child” who was conceived as a result.
The state has already passed a law outlawing abortion if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, a so-called “trigger ban” that has also been adopted by several other states. Arkansas also already has a 20-week abortion ban, enacted in 2013, which has yet to be challenged in court.
Read more at National Catholic Register