Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Admits ‘Near-Total’ Abortion Ban Is Unconstitutional

by : Emily Brown on :
Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Admits 'Near-Total' Abortion Ban Is UnconstitutionalCNN/PA Images

Republican governor Asa Hutchinson has admitted that a bill supporting a ‘near-total’ abortion ban in Arkansas is unconstitutional. 

Hutchinson signed the legislation earlier this month, explaining at the time that he did so because of its ‘overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions’.


The governor has since discussed the matter during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, where host Dana Bash questioned Hutchinson’s motivation behind signing the bill.

You can watch Hutchinson’s interview below:


She commented: ‘Even when you signed it, you said you had reservations about the law, saying that it violates Supreme Court precedent. So to be clear, did you sign this bill because you hope it will be a vehicle for the Supreme Court to look at overturning Roe v. Wade?’


Hutchinson told CNN the bill was unconstitutional, as he responded: ‘Yes, that was the whole design of the law. It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now.’

The governor said he signed the bill because it is a ‘direct challenge to Roe v. Wade’ – a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court which ruled that the constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

AbortionPA Images

Hutchinson said he would have ‘preferred a rape and incest exception’ in the law, but he ‘didn’t get a vote on that’.


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He added: ‘I think there’s a very narrow chance that the Supreme Court will accept that case, but we’ll see.’

Under the measure signed by Hutchinson, abortion would only be allowed in cases where it’s necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the foetus or mother. Anyone who performs or attempts to perform an abortion under the measure would be guilty of an unclassified felony, while anyone convicted could face a fine up to $100,000 or a prison sentence.

Asa HutchinsonPA Images

Pro-choice activists have stressed that they will fight the law in court, NPR reports, with Holly Dickson, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, saying the organisation would ‘fight as long as it takes’ to keep abortion legal.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Abortion, Arkansas, pro-choice


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Arkansas governor says he signed near-total abortion ban so Supreme Court can decide if it's a 'direct challenge' to Roe

  2. NPR

    Arkansas Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban — And A Possible 'Roe V. Wade' Test