The Arkansas House has completed a veto override that gives the state the toughest anti-abortion law in the country.
Only a simple majority was needed in each chamber.
The 12-week ban won’t take effect until this summer. Last week, the Legislature overrode Beebe’s veto of a ban on most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy. That law took effect immediately.
Abortion rights proponents have already said they’ll sue to block the 12-week ban from taking effect. Beebe says the courts are likely to overturn both bans and that the state will waste money defending them.
This is unconscionable, unconstitutional, and completely devastating. I had terrible suspicions it was going to happen, but I really hoped it wouldn’t. This is a dark day in Arkansas.
I am grieving.
I am grieving for the women who will be lost to self-induced abortions.
I am grieving for the women who will endure grueling questions about their last menstrual cycle in order to determine they are not more than 12 weeks along.
I am grieving for the women who will be forced to carry their rapists’ children because they were too terrified to report.
I am grieving for the resulting children who will never feel wanted.
I am grieving for the doctors who will have their medical licenses revoked if they continue performing abortions after 12 weeks.
I am grieving the money taxpayers will waste on litigation that could have been spent on improving education or any number of things.
I am grieving for the loss of any new progressive residents who were planning on moving to Arkansas, because who would ever willingly come into a state where you are stripped of your rights?
I am grieving and appalled.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is calling for Governor Beebe and the Senate to reject the bill. By clicking the title of this post you will be provided a pre-written email directed to the the Governor. You will have the option to personalize it.
Speak up for reproductive rights.
Fire away, y’all.
SB134 has passed.
I decided this bill deserved its own update so I could include commentary from the representatives..
Rep. John Edwards spoke against the bill, beginning by saying, “I support the Constitution.” The rule of law is important, he said. Courts have ruled on the subject more than once, he said. This bill is unconstitutional. But he also said he had decided “to trust women on this issue and place my faith in the Constitution.”
I was watching this live and actually clapped when he said this.
Rep. Homer Lenderman, who voted for the Mayberry bill, said Arkansas Right to Life does not support the bill and doesn’t either, because it’s unconstitutional and would cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in legal fees.
Though upset Lenderman voted for the Mayberry bill, I was pleased he brought up that the bill is unconstitutional.
Rep. Bob Ballinger said Right to Life also did not oppose the bill and he said he and others would take defense of the case “pro bono.” He used the favorite argument anti-abortion argument that slavery was once allowed as was segregation.
How anyone thinks it is acceptable to compare abortion to slavery and segregation, I will never know.
The only bright spot in the discussion was Rep. Patti Julian. She said in response to Rep. Ballinger’s statements, “Those were bad laws because they took choices away from people and if we pass this bill it takes away choices from women in this state.”
But we all know how the vote turned out.
Bill passed 68-20, with two present. It goes to the governor, who’s said repeatedly that it’s unconstitutional. He’s unlikely to sign it. But, given the vote, will he veto it?
Click here to see how the votes divided (once they’re posted).
I am absolutely livid. I can’t believe both this bill and HB1037 passed. Beebe better veto these antiquated laws or he will destroy any semblance of reproductive rights remaining in the state.
What if gun rights were regulated like abortion rights? Here’s a list of just some of the hoops you’d have to jump through before you could own a gun:
- Only one store in the entire state would sell guns. (See: Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for states with only one abortion provider.)
- You’d have to fill out an enormous personal background check including intrusive personal information that has nothing to do with your ability to own or use a gun. Then you’d have to wait at least 72 hours and come back to the store. (Remember, it’s the only one in the state. You better hope you don’t live on the other side of Wyoming.)
- Upon your return, you’d have to sit through intensive mandatory counseling. Your counselor, regardless of his personal beliefs, would have to tell you that gun ownership is actually a bad idea, and that it would negatively effect your mental health to own a gun. (This, despite there being no scientific evidence to support the claim.)
- Next, you’d sit through a gruesome movie showing the actual aftermath of domestic gun crimes. You’d see people with half a head. You’d see dead children in their beds. You’d see the bloody aftermath of a school shooting. You’d be shown statistic after statistic warning you that you’d be contributing to this morally degenerate sanctioning of murder.
- If you lived in Virginia, you’d have to come back (again) for an invasive and uncomfortable fMRI (which costs around $300 out of your pocket) to ensure your honesty in answering all the background check information and your intentions to use your gun responsibly. (This was as close as I could get to the invasive transvaginal procedure included in the recently passed Virginia bill.)
- Oh… and if you were married, your spouse might have to sign off on your gun ownership.
For some reason tumblr is not allowing me to publish asks, but I wanted y’all to have this information.
HB1100, also passed, prohibits health insurance exhange policies from offering coverage for abortions—but it has rape or incest exemptions.
To be quite honest, I do not find the exemptions to be any good for a myriad of reasons.
In case anyone wants to read the legislation.
”In the event that you are watching me scream about abortion online, you should know that SB134, HB1037 (Fetal Pain Bill) and HB1098 (the Fetal Heartbeat Bill) have NO EXEMPTIONS FOR RAPE, INCEST, OR LIFE OF THE MOTHER. Also, in case you’re wondering, Arkansas grants rapists PATERNITY RIGHTS. This means a few things:
1.) If the fetus is not viable, women will have to CARRY THEM TO TERM, which is an undue psychological and physical burden.
2.) If the mother is dying, the physician will be criminalized for performing a late-term abortion.
3.) Abortion will be illegal after 6 weeks (way before most people know they’re pregnant). Women will start to die again through self-inflicted abortions.
4.) Given that men make more money in the state of Arkansas, rapists will often get CUSTODY of their children or full visitation rights.
If this seems humane, then you should probably de-friend me. Like, now.”
-Dr. Lisa Corrigan
pulled from someone on my facebook
who i love
As someone who has spent the last several years of her life focused on Reproductive Rights activist work in Arkansas and Reproductive Rights research within the academy, I AM FUCKING PISSED.
As a sexual assault survivor, I AM FUCKING PISSED.
As a woman, I AM FUCKING PISSED.
This is ridiculous.
Fuck you, Arkansan Republicans. Or just Republicans in general.
I am so mad I can barely form coherent thoughts.
I am deeply offended as a survivor and someone who respects the individual’s right to choice.
These pieces of legislation are unconscionable.
A proposed abortion bill introduced in Arkansas this week would ban all abortion services after a fetal heartbeat is detected — which can occur as early as six weeks, before some women even realize they’re pregnant — and charge doctors who perform abortions after that arbitrary cut-off with a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
GOP lawmaker Jason Rapert filed the legislation on Monday, and half of Arkansas’ state senators — 18 of the Senate’s 35 total members — have already signed on as co-sponsors. Rapert says he may bring the bill before the Arkansas Senate’s Public Health Committee later this week.
So-called “heartbeat bills” are an attempt to redefine the medical terms of pregnancy, as well as a direct challenge to women’s constitutional rights. Even though medical professionals agree the point of viability typically occurs around 22 or 23 weeks of pregnancy — and Roe v. Wade grants women the right to terminate a pregnancy up until viability — fetal heartbeat measures would narrow the window for obtaining legal abortion services by as much as 17 weeks. This type of legislation is so radical that it often divides the anti-choice community. A similar measure failed in Ohio at the end of last year because abortion opponents couldn’t reach a consensus on it.
Rapert has acknowledged his bill may face legal challenges — particularly since it’s even more stringent than other states’ 20-week abortion bans that are currently being blocked in court. But, as he explained to the Associated Press, he is committed to imposing his own medical definitions on the women in his state. “When there is a heartbeat there, you have a living human being,” he said.
Since Republicans won both chambers of Arkansas’ state legislature in November’s elections, they’ve made it clear that abortion restrictions are high on their agenda — even though Arkansas, which only has one surgical abortion clinic left in the entire state, is already fairly hostile to reproductive rights. Abortion opponents are pressuring GOP lawmakers to push through a slew of new anti-choice legislation, including a 20-week abortion ban and a measure to block health insurance coverage of abortion services.
It passed 26 to 8. This is a dark day for reproductive rights in our state and I feel sick.
I am so irritated that this passed. There are exceptions for rape, incest, and if the health of the mother is in danger—but that’s not good enough.
— Justice Harry Blackmun, Roe v. Wade decision, 22 January 1973
I know no one has asked me about this, but I feel like I need to say why I am adamantly pro-choice.
Abortion should remain legal. Period, end of story. Saying it should “only be legal in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger” adds pressure to the individual who is seeking the abortion.
Let me be more clear—I am mostly referring to the rape and incest exceptions. Do people realize this means those who are seeking the abortion will have to have reported those crimes against them in order to qualify for the exception? That probably doesn’t sound like much to some, but it’s actually a huge fucking deal.
The burden of proof is automatically on the victim in the case of rape and incest. “Innocent until proven guilty” is what our justice system claims (though we all know that isn’t necessarily true). Now the additional burden of winning that case must be made before the individual can get the abortion? That’s what would HAVE to happen, right? That seems unfair.
Reporting cases of rape or incest is incredibly difficult. I may discuss my rape, but I sure as hell didn’t report it. I had to accept what had happened to me first. Then I weighed the pros and cons of reporting the rape. Ultimately I decided I didn’t think I could handle what would surely be a defamation of my character. Everything I ever wore, said, watched, read, did would immediately be called into question because we live in a rape culture and the blame is automatically placed on the victim. Every day I live with the decision I made not to report—justice will never really be served. There are thousands of other unreported rape victims like me.
Fortunately, I didn’t need an abortion—but if I had needed one, I would have been able to get one because of Roe V. Wade. With four Supreme Court justices over the age of 70, it is highly likely the next president will be appointing at least one new justice. Depending on the persuasion of the justice, and with personhood amendments popping up in the current War on Women, there is a serious possibility individuals could be stripped of their rights to choose.
I refuse to vote for any candidate who thinks any type of exception should be made to Roe V. Wade.