Arkansas Passes Country's Most Restrictive Ban on Abortion

Thursday, March 07, 2013

On Wednesday, Arkansas passed into law the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion to date. The ruling denies women the right to an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, setting a term limit that is 12 weeks earlier than the limit established by Supreme Court decisions.

The state’s Republican controlled legislature bypassed a veto by Democratic Governor Mike Beebe to enact the bill into law, and this bold move has left many legislators calling the decision unconstitutional.

Jason Rapert, Republican Arkansas State Senator sponsored the bill.  State Representative Greg Leding, an Arkansas Democrat and House Minority Leader, opposed it.



Representative Greg Leding

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [6]

unkerjay from Puget Sound, WA

In honor of International Women's Day, Friday, March 8th, I submit that as long as this legislation is in effect, be it proposed that all women in the state agree that there shall be no sex in the state of Arkansas by any means through which the end result could be pregnancy or child birth.

That should handily resolve the likelihood of pregnancy as an issue.

It is one aspect of the process that women DO control. And I suggest they exercise that control as long as this legislation is in effect.

Mar. 11 2013 01:33 PM
Lindsay from Dallas, TX

A friend of mine from Norway studied in Arkansas in high school as an exchange student. He was incredulous to hear a female classmate tell him that one could prevent pregnancy by drinking a glass of milk after unprotected sex. While Mr. Raper says that Arkansans can use contraception if they choose, that is not a real choice if the women of Arkansas are not educated about their options for contraception. The best way to make abortion rare is to ensure that contraception is widely available, that women are educated about all of their options for contraception, and that women and families receive the assistance they need after a child is born.

Mar. 08 2013 09:20 AM
Dan from Corvallis, OR

Mr. Rapert's position seems to be founded on the idea that an unborn baby is a unique and valuable human being worthy of protection. Is there any question that an unborn baby (even at 12 weeks) is a unique human being with her own DNA; a life that is developing in a dependent but self-directed way; a child deserving protection and care? The pro-life position is 'protect this innocent life' and the pro-choice position is 'protect the freedom of the woman to choose'. How can intelligent conversation happen if the national sounding-boards like this show don't respond honestly to the positions they don't favor? Mr. Hockenberry, what is the truth about the unborn? Is the fetus a blob of tissue, or a human being? If she (her gender is apparent at 12 weeks) is a human being, how do we condone killing her? Honest and intelligent discussion would seek answers to these questions.

Mar. 07 2013 02:01 PM
Mike from Oregon

The Senator said "the sanctity of life". Protecting the 1st 9 months of life is fine, but what about that life after it's born? And the next 20 years of growing up? And then when the person gets very sick and can't pay for medical care? And when the person gets old and can't work anymore? Does "the sanctity of life" end at 9 months?

Mar. 07 2013 01:43 PM
Iva from Arlington, Tx

There were no laws against abortion when the BOR and Constitution were written. The first laws limiting abortion werent made until the early 1800s and only restricted late term abortions. Laws restricting all abortion werent written until later, mostly in response to the influx of Catholic immigrants and the fear of Catholics outnumbering Protestants. And there is NO CHANCE of 'survival' at 12 weeks. At 22 weeks the chance of a viable birth is less than 10%.

Mar. 07 2013 12:45 PM
dlm from Brooklyn

Confusing. Shouldn't this be a big win for bi-partisanship, crossing the aisle and everyone working together? Liberal media constantly laments the system is broken. Then when democrats and republicans work together on a filibuster and to reduce access to abortion it is not celebrated. Why would that be??

Mar. 07 2013 11:21 AM

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