Arkansas Governor Signs Bill to Protect Babies Conceived in Rape From Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 22, 2021   |   9:57AM   |   Little Rock, Arkansas

A new Arkansas law that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Wednesday aims to protect unborn babies who are conceived in rape from abortion.

The Hill reports the new law, state Senate Bill 463, requires documentation that a crime has been reported to law enforcement before a pregnant mother may have an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Arkansas prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape or threats to the mother’s life.

The new law also applies the crime reporting requirement to other state laws that are currently blocked in court, including the dismemberment abortion ban and the heartbeat law, according to the report.

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Additionally, it requires all abortion data collected under state law to be reported to the Centers for Disease Control. The law also makes it illegal for anyone to notify an abortion facility ahead of time about an unannounced state health inspection.

The pro-life law passed the state House and Senate by strong majorities earlier this spring. It is one of several measures that state lawmakers introduced this year to protect unborn babies and mothers.

In March, Hutchinson signed a law to ban all abortions in Arkansas. Exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life or health is at risk. However, the courts are expected to block the law before it goes into effect. Nearly 3,000 unborn babies are aborted in Arkansas every year.

A few weeks later, the governor signed another law to protect doctors, nurses and other medical workers from being forced to participate in procedures like abortions that violate their consciences.

State lawmakers also are considering a bill to require biological fathers to pay half of the mother’s out-of-pocket pregnancy expenses for the care of their unborn children and another to require abortion facilities to provide mothers with an ultrasound and description of her unborn baby before she makes a final decision about an abortion.