It was interesting to watch the vote to override Gov. Beebe’s veto of HB1037 – a bill which will ban abortion in Arkansas at the point at which the baby can experience pain (20 weeks).
The vote tally for the amended bill only a few days ago had 80 votes made up of 50 Republicans plus 30 Democrats. Today, when Rep. Mayberry made a motion to reconsider and override the governor’s veto, there were only 53 votes for it – 51 Republicans and 2 Democrats.
The one additional Republican was Speaker Davy Carter. The Speaker rarely votes unless it is a close vote so he voted for the override but not the first time since it was clear it would pass.
Only two Democrats – Rep. John Catlett of Rover and Rep. Jody Dickinson of Newport – had the courage to speak up for their pro-life principles and for the pro-life voters that elected them as they voted for the override.
Another 26 Democrats caved to pressure from the governor’s office who – as Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr found out yesterday – does not like to be told no. One of these Democrats – who asked me not to use his name – told me that he supported the bill but that Beebe was just too popular in his district. He explained that Beebe won his district by a greater margin than he did and he could not be seen as going against the governor.
The Senate is expected to take up the override tomorrow. It should pass as Republicans have 21 seats, but it will be interesting to see what the three Democrats – Sens. Bruce Maloch, Paul Bookout, and Larry Teague - who voted for it originally will do.
Anyway, below is list of Democrats that voted today for Beebe over babies.
UPDATE – Rep. Jeff Wardlaw (D-Warren) defended his taking a pass on the override on his Facebook account…
“I certainly appreciate everyone who has written to express their opinion on the status of HB 1037. When HB 1037 came up for a vote before the House of Representatives I voted for this legislation. When it was sent to Governor Beebe he chose to veto this legislation citing it as unconstitutional. He also was concerned about the amount of money the state would have to spend to defend this legislation. When the bill returned to the House and an override of the Governor’s veto was put to a vote I chose not to vote out of respect for our Governor.”
UPDATE II - The override of the veto Friday morning means that abortions after 20 weeks are illegal. Joining the House list of weenies are Sens. Paul Bookout, Bruce Maloach, and Larry Teague who voted against the override then minutes later voted for Sen. Rapert’s bill banning abortion at 12 weeks.
I will leave you with the wisdom of Ricky Bobby – with all due respect…