Speed Reads

Abortion

Arkansas' GOP governor signs near-total abortion ban

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Tuesday signed into state law a near-total abortion ban, which only allows the procedure to save the life of the mother.

Hutchinson has expressed reservations about the bill, saying Tuesday that he "would have preferred the legislation to include the exceptions for rape and incest, which has been my consistent view." But he said he ultimately signed off because of "overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions."

Hutchinson also acknowledged the bill directly challenges Roe v. Wade, adding that "it is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law." While Arkansas' Republican-majority legislature was considering the measure, The Associated Press notes, Hutchinson shared a letter from an an attorney from the anti-abortion group National Right to Life that said the bill only has a "very small and remote" chance of leading to Roe being overturned.

The law won't take effect for 90 days after Arkansas' legislature adjourns this year's session, which means it will happen sometime this summer at the earliest. Abortion rights activists plan to challenge the bill in court before then. Read more at The Associated Press.