Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson attacks abortion
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters in his office at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. 10 Apr 2019 (Andrew DeMillo/AP/Shutterstock)

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Signs Law Banning Virtually All Abortions Within the State

The attack on the legacy of Roe v. Wade continues. On Tuesday, March 9, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law that bans nearly all forms of abortions within the state.

Andrew DeMillo of the Associated Press has reported that the Republican governor “had expressed reservations about the bill, which only allows the procedure to save the life of the mother and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest.”

Even with those reservations, he went ahead and signed it, saying he ultimately agreed to support it because of the “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”

According to DeMillo, Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year.

Supporters of the measure hope it will force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the landmark Roe v. Wade and possibly overturn it while opponents have vowed to block the measure in Arkansas with hopes of preventing it from taking effect later this year.

In a statement, the sponsor of the bill, Republican Sen. Jason Rapert, said “We must abolish abortion in this nation just as we abolished slavery in the 19th century — all lives matter.”

In contrast, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas called the ban “cruel and unconstitutional.”

“Governor Hutchinson: we’ll see you in court,” ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said.

“This is politics at its very worst,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “At a time when people need economic relief and basic safety precautions, dismantling abortion access is cruel, dangerous, and blatantly unjust.”

“The legislation won’t take effect until 90 days after the majority-Republican Legislature adjourns this year’s session,” DeMillo reported. “That means it can’t be enforced until this summer at the earliest. Abortion rights supporters said they plan to challenge the ban in court before then.”

Even before this new bill was passed, Arkansas already had some of the strictest abortion measures in the country, including a 2019 ban — also signed by Hutchinson — on abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy, which is currently undergoing legal challenges.

Other anti-abortion restrictions still being considered by legislators in the state include one particularly heartless measure that would require a woman having an abortion to be shown an ultrasound of her unborn child before the procedure is completed.


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

Video: How Companies Are Ensuring Equity for People With Disabilities

The National Organization on Disability held its annual forum in Washington, D.C. last week, bringing together community leaders, advocates, government officials and corporate leaders and influencers to focus on the advancement of people with disabilities in the workplace. DiversityInc also met up with leaders from Capital One Financial (No. 22…

Validated Allies wallpaper

DiversityInc Announces 2022 Validated Allies

Allyship is a journey rather than a destination. The work of an ally never really ends and allies understand they are not necessarily always working toward a goal, but rather, serving a greater purpose. Each year, as part of our Women of Color and Their Allies event, DiversityInc recognizes a…

CDO Series: Sysco’s Adrienne Trimble

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the latest installment of a series of articles…

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…