Arkansas Passes Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Ban

Republicans claim that upholding the Constitution is a fundamental belief of theirs, except when they disagree with what the Constitution says. When there are disputes, the Constitution has set up a mechanism for handling such disputes–the Supreme Court. Conservatives also have no problem ignoring decisions of the Supreme Court which they disagree with. Conservatives claim to be supporters of small government, except when they want to use government to impose their religious views upon others.

Combining these principles, conservatives are eager to pass laws restricting reproductive rights and ignoring Row v. Wade. The Republican legislature in Arkansas has passed the nation’s most restrictive ban on abortion starting at twelve weeks, passing this over the veto of their Democratic Governor. From The New York Times:

In the sharpest challenge yet to Roe v. Wade, Arkansas adopted Wednesday what is by far the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion, at 12 weeks of pregnancy, around the time that a fetal heartbeat can be detected by abdominal ultrasound.

The law was passed by the newly Republican-controlled legislature over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, who called it “blatantly unconstitutional.” On Tuesday the state Senate voted to override his veto by a vote of 20 to 14; on Wednesday the House enacted the bill into law by a vote of 55 to 33, with several Democrats joining the Republican majority.

The law contradicts the limit established by Supreme Court decisions, which give women a right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy, and abortion rights groups promised a quick lawsuit to block it.

Adoption of the law, called the “Human Heartbeat Protection Act,” is the first statewide victory for a restless emerging faction within the anti-abortion movement that has lost patience with the incremental whittling away at abortion rights — the strategy of established groups like National Right to Life and the Catholic Church while they wait for a more sympathetic Supreme Court.