Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, was interviewed today on CNN’s State of the Union. On the subject of abortion, the governor was asked about the ban on abortions he signed into law in 2019. In the law, there are no exceptions for rape or incest, though there is an exception for the life of the mother. Hutchinson said that the state’s law “could be revisited” to include those exceptions.
As we wait for the Supreme Court to hand down its ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, the leaked draft of Justice Alito’s opinion has caused panic from pro-abortion people. If Alito’s opinion proves to be the final ruling by the court (that is not at all certain at this point), Oklahoma’s trigger law will go into effect. Now Hutchinson says if Roe v Wade is overturned, he wants to include the exceptions in the state’s law.
Hutchinson signed a bill in February 2019 that called for banning abortion in the state if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which protects access to the medical procedure on the federal level. The measure in Arkansas, however, does not allow exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
Hutchinson has said he wanted those exceptions to be included in the law, and on Sunday he noted that they could be revisited.
“While it’s still life in the womb, life of the unborn, it was, the conception was under criminal circumstances, either incest or rape, and so those are two exceptions I recognize, I believe are very appropriate, and what will happen as time goes on if Roe versus Wade is reversed, these are gonna become very real circumstances I think the debate and discussion will be, will continue and that very well could be revisited,” he told co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In the last few years when we passed these trigger laws, we’re expressing a belief,” he said. “We’re trying to return that authority to the states and to reduce abortions, but whenever you see real life circumstances like [incest or rape], debate is going to continue and the will of the people may or may not change, but it’s going to come back to the states’ flexibility on that.”
Hutchinson is in support of the trigger law but said he has been in support of the exceptions all along. He didn’t want a total ban on abortion in Arkansas yet he signed the law into effect. Hutchinson supports state control of abortion.
“I believe those exceptions are going to be important overall to save lives because the public understands those exceptions, the importance of it. It will be revisited,” he continued. “There’s no guarantee of it but the public opinion matters whenever you come to your elected representatives.
According to Hutchinson, both the life of the mother and rape and incest are two exceptions that should have been added to the Arkansas law in the first place.
“If that Roe versus Wade is reversed, then what we’ve fought for for 40 years and returning the authority back to the states will actually happen, you’ll see states making different decisions based upon the values and the consensus of the people of that state,” he said.
At the end of the interview, the conversation took a dark turn when host Dana Bash asked Governor Hutchinson if it wouldn’t be better to just abort unborn children rather than bring them into a life of poverty.
The last question Bash asked was the most despicable: “Arkansas already struggles to support vulnerable children. Nearly one in four children in Arkansas lives in poverty” Bash snarked. “More than 4,600 kids are already in your state’s overloaded foster care system. Do you really think that your state is prepared to protect and care for even more children if abortion does become illegal there?”
.@DanaBashCNN: “Arkansas already struggles to support vulnerable children. Nearly 1 in 4 children in Arkansas lives in poverty….Do you really think that your state is prepared to protect and care for even more children if abortion does become illegal there?” pic.twitter.com/twY3lbtJHi
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) May 22, 2022
Yikes! Bash implies that a poor, rural state like Arkansas should just view unborn children who may be born into poverty as a burden that can be avoided by abortion. What a ghoulish question to ask. Poverty justifies abortion, apparently. Never mind the assistance available for those in need and there is always the option of putting the child up for adoption. What a twisted way to look at the life of an unborn baby. What’s next? A financial litmus test for perspective parents?