It is official. Arkansas is now the most pro-life state in the country.
Today, the House overrode Gov. Beebe’s veto to pass Sen. Rapert’s SB 134 with all 51 Republicans (I am told Rep. Randy Alexander voted for it but had a machine issue) and 6 Democrats brave enough to stand up to the Governor and for life. Hats off to State Reps. Scott Baltz of Pocahontas, John Catlett of Rover, Jody Dickinson of Newport, Mike Holcomb of Pine Bluff, Jeff Wardlaw of Warren, and Hank Wilkins of Pine Bluff.
This followed the Senate override yesterday on a straight party line vote. Several Senate Democrats who voted for the original bill jumped ship when Beebe flexed his veto pen.
The bill now bans all abortions after the point when a heartbeat can be detected, effectively at 12 weeks. This puts Arkansas law as the most restrictive of any state in the nation.
Make no mistake – this will lead to litigation as liberal special interests groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are salivating at a chance to sue over it. It will happen.
But as I wrote in a column a few weeks back, this is not a bad thing. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the courtroom is where the battle rests and where pro-lifers have to take the battle in order to make any headway.
Opponents of the law – especially those such as Gov. Beebe who want to walk a tight rope between coming out openly in a pro-choice position – say the law is unconstitutional. Hogwash. The right to an abortion is no where in the constitution, but rather the creation of an activist, liberal court.
Justice William Rehnquist summed it up well in his dissenting opinion to Roe when he wrote, “To reach its result, the court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment.”
Noted – Arkansas Right to Life has remained neutral throughout the debate instead focusing on Mayberry’s bill banning abortions at 20 weeks as well as two other bills they are pushing. Interesting to say the least.
Get ready. Arkansas is now at the tip of the spear on the abortion debate and this will only be the beginning.