Arkansas governor signs ‘triggered’ abortion ban into law

Posted at 9:56 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 10:56:08-05

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas’ governor has signed into law a measure that would ban abortion in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing the procedure nationwide.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office says the Republican on Tuesday signed the legislation, making Arkansas the fifth state with a “trigger” abortion ban on the books. The majority-Republican Legislature gave the bill final approval last week.

The proposal would ban all abortions, except for medical emergencies, if the nation’s high court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision.

Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have similar “trigger” bans on the books. Abortion opponents have been pushing for the measures in other states, saying they hope that the high court may be open to more sweeping bans after President Donald Trump’s appointed two conservatives.

Also Tuesday, a House panel endorsed a proposal that would ban most abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. That proposal now heads to the full House for a vote.

Arkansas already bans abortion 20 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.