An Arkansas lawmaker marked the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Tuesday by introducing a bill to protect unborn babies from abortion.
KARK News reports state Sen. Jason Rapert’s bill would prohibit abortions in Arkansas if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its infamous abortion ruling. About a dozen other states have similar laws in place.
“I’ve actually had conversations in the last couple of days with some of the legal scholars that have worked on the issue for 40 years, and they actually believe that states need to prepare because they think in the next two years, Roe v. Wade could be overturned,” the pro-life Republican said. “Arkansas would protect the lives of unborn children.”
His bill would allow exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk.
Rapert said he planned to file the bill on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the 1973 decision, according to the report.
The Supreme Court decision took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks, a fact confirmed by the Washington Post fact checker.
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More than 60 million unborn babies have been aborted since 1973 in America.
Pro-life advocates hope the new conservative U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the pro-abortion ruling and allow states to restrict or outlaw the killing of the unborn. But even if it does, many states still will allow abortions.
About a dozen states have laws in place that immediately would protect the unborn when Roe is overturned. Legal scholars give different estimates about the number of states where abortions would become illegal. In 2017, the abortion advocacy group NARAL predicted that 13 states immediately would ban abortions if the high court overturns Roe. Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights put their estimate at 22 states.