Arkansas GOP governor said the near-total ban on abortion he signed is designed to land before the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at a news conference at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, August 4, 2015.

  • Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson said his anti-abortion law is designed to be argued before the Supreme Court.
  • The law is a near-total ban on abortion, with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
  • “I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” he told CNN.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, on Sunday said the near-total ban on abortion he signed into law earlier in March was designed to land before the Supreme Court.

Hutchinson made the comments Sunday during an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union”

“It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “And I did prefer a rape and incest exception. I didn’t get a vote on that. And so I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade. That was the intent of it.”

He said “the whole design” of the law was to get the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Hutchinson signed the bill into law on March 9, as The Associated Press reported, even though he at the time had expressed concerns over its lack of exceptions for rape or incest. Under the law, abortion is only permissible in cases where a mother’s life is in danger.

The bill is just one example of Republican-backed challenges to abortion that have appeared in state legislatures across the US this year.

“I think there’s a very narrow chance that the Supreme Court will accept that case, but we will see,” Hutchinson said Sunday. “And, again, I would prefer – it’s been my historic position that the three exceptions would be rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

“But this is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” he continued. “And that’s the intent of the legislation.”

As the Associated Press noted when the bill was signed earlier this month, it won’t go into effect until 90 after the date it was signed into law, meaning it can’t be enforced until this summer at the earliest. Groups centered on protecting access to abortion have said they planned to issue legal challenges to the legislation, according to the report.

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