Arkansas and Utah Have Passed 18-Week Abortion Bans

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Lawmakers in both Arkansas and Utah have sent their governors legislation to ban most abortions 18 weeks into pregnancy, making way for the states to enact some of the most restrictive abortion bans in the United States.

On Wednesday, the Arkansas House gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill, which Republican governor Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. Last year, Arkansas became the first state to ban medication abortions; the state already bans abortions at 20 weeks.

According to CBS News, Hutchinson said he believed the 18-week ban would survive a court challenge.

“It’s within the second trimester that states are allowed to pass restrictions on, and this, with the science we have today it seems like a very appropriate restriction,” he said.

The House had approved an earlier version of the bill, which included an exception for medical emergencies. On Wednesday, the House backed an amendment adding exceptions for rape and incest.

In Utah, lawmakers passed an 18-week abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and fatal fetal defects. The legislation now goes to Republican governor Gary Herbert, who, according to Associated Press, hasn’t said whether he’ll sign it, though he has said he’s generally against abortion.

The ACLU has made a statement saying that it plans to “defend abortion rights for Arkansans who are facing the personal decision about whether to continue a pregnancy.”

According to KUTV-2News, the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is planning to file a lawsuit in regards to the legislation, and the ACLU of Utah is also indicating legal action.

“It is unconstitutional, which the legislature knows, and we will file a lawsuit and ask for a temporary restraining order to keep this from going into law,” Planned Parenthood Association of Utah vice-president of public policy Heather Stringfellow told KUTV.

Arkansas and Utah Have Passed 18-Week Abortion Bans