I’ve had to take a break from writing about the continuing and seemingly never-ending war on women, because I fear I’m running out of things to say. Words like “appalled” or “outraged” or “disgusted” or “unbelievable” or simply, “WTF?!” are losing their luster. So I’ll keep this short and not-so-sweet:
The state of Arkansas has enacted a law that now bans abortions after 12 weeks.
That’s it. In a nutshell.
The law, the first fetal heartbeat bill to be approved in the country, was passed by lawmakers (including six “Democrats”) in both houses of the Arkansas legislature and was immediately vetoed by the Democratic Governor, Mike Beebe, who stated the law “blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.” That same legislature, seized by Republicans in 2012, overrode Beebe’s veto and passed it into law:
Senate Bill 134, known as the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, bans abortions involving fetuses with heartbeats that are 12 weeks or older, excluding medical emergencies, and mandates an ultrasound for expecting mothers before they attempt an abortion.
“Attempt an abortion…”
Like it’s a fucking bank robbery…
No inference of criminality there! Nuh-uh!
Obviously, this has set up a monumental court battle, which will be spearheaded by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU, which issued the following statement via their blog (emphasis added):
Today the most severe abortion ban in the country passed in Arkansas. This is a sad day, not only for the women and families of Arkansas, but for women across the country.
This afternoon, the Arkansas House voted to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks, just days after the state Senate also voted to do so, making the bill law.
Let’s be clear: this is the strictest limit on abortion passed by a state or territorial legislature since Guam attempted to ban all abortions in 1990.
Let’s be clear about one more thing. We are going to fight back. The ACLU will challenge this dangerous and unconstitutional law in court to put this private decision back in the hands of a woman and her family.
Some politicians just don’t get it, and a majority of Arkansas lawmakers really don’t get it. The decision to have an abortion is a complex and deeply personal one that must be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor — not politicians. A politician’s job is not to intrude, but to respect the decision she makes. It has been many decades since politicians intruded quite this brazenly, seeking an outright ban so early in pregnancy. Today’s vote is yet another sign that politicians are laser-focused on taking away women’s access to critical health care.
This follows hot on the heels of another measure enacted by the Arkansas legislature, which banned all abortions after 20 weeks. Again, Beebe vetoed the bill, but was overridden by the Republican-controlled legislature.
I could go on to point out that the GOP Party of “Small Government” really only cares about said “Small Government” unless you possess a uterus, in which case…blah, blah, fucking blah…
You already know this.