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Arkansas Governor Vetoes 20-Week Abortion Bill

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Author Topic: Arkansas Governor Vetoes 20-Week Abortion Bill  (Read 1005 times)
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« on: February 26, 2013, 06:18:36 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/arkansas-governor-veto-20-week-abortion-bill-203009236.html

2/26/13

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a ban on most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into a pregnancy, setting up an override fight with a Republican-controlled Legislature that has been pushing for more restrictions on the procedure.

Beebe said he vetoed the ban, which is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, because it runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until the point where fetuses can survive outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks. The Republican sponsor of the measure said he'll seek to override Beebe's veto.

"Because it would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion before viability, House Bill 1037, if it became law, would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent," Beebe said in his veto letter. "When I was sworn in as governor I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend both the Arkansas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath seriously."

Beebe also cited the cost of a potential lawsuit if the state enacted the ban. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has said it would likely sue if it went into effect.

Beebe's veto comes as Arkansas lawmakers are weighing stricter legislation that would prohibit abortions at 12 weeks into a pregnancy. Beebe has said he has concerns about that legislation's constitutionality as well. That measure is expected to go before a Senate panel Wednesday.

Rep. Andy Mayberry, who sponsored the 20-week ban, said he was disappointed with Beebe's decision and would ask the House and Senate to override the governor's veto. It takes a simple majority in both chambers to override a governor's veto. Republicans hold 51 of the 100 House seats and 21 of the 35 Senate seats.

Beebe announced the decision shortly after Mayberry, R-Hensley, met with the governor and tried to alleviate his concerns about the bill.

"Apparently he and I have differing opinions on that bill," Mayberry said. "We'll enter into the next phase of the legislative process."

Seven states have enacted similar 20-week restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks laws affecting women's health. A similar law in Arizona has been blocked while a federal appeals court reviews a lawsuit challenging it.

In his letter, Beebe cited concerns about the cost of a similar challenge. He wrote that Arkansas had to pay nearly $148,000 in attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging a 1997 late-term abortion ban that a federal appeals court overturned.

"Litigation fees and costs have increased extensively since then," Beebe wrote. "The taxpayers' exposure, should HB1037 become law, will be significantly greater."

Mayberry's bill included exemptions for ****, incest and the life of the mother. Opponents have criticized it for not including exemptions for fatal fetal conditions.

Mayberry said he was confident he would have the votes to override Beebe's veto. The House approved Mayberry's bill on an 80-10 vote last week. It had been previously approved by the Senate on a 25-7 vote.

Abortion rights advocates who had gathered at the Capitol cheered when Beebe's decision was announced.

"I am very grateful that the governor understood that it's not reasonable for the government to interfere with these very private and complex medical decisions that a woman needs to make with her doctor and with her faith and with her family," said Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. "The decision to end a pregnancy is one of the most complicated decisions a woman will make in her life."

The bill marks the 11th time Beebe has vetoed legislation since taking office in 2007.

Beebe, who is serving his second term, has backed some abortion restrictions, including a bill signed earlier this month that bans insurers participating in the exchange created under the federal health care law from covering most abortions. Two years ago, he signed into law a proposal placing new regulations on the clinics that offer the abortion pill and in 2009 he signed legislation that mirrors a federal law banning late-term abortions.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 08:09:16 pm »

they elected Bill Clinton
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 08:40:21 pm »

they elected Bill Clinton

Yeah, this supposedly "heavily Republican" state somehow has a "Democrat" governor.

I know, yeah, the Illuminati controls both sides, but nonetheless Arkansas citizens should know something is terribly awry when they have a heavily-dominated Republican Arkansas House/Senate, but somehow a Democrat governor slipped right in?

Interesting too that the governor vetoed 111 bills while in office.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 09:47:28 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/arkansas-senate-overrides-veto-abortion-bill-000608283.html

2/28/13 Arkansas Senate Overrides Veto of Abortion Bill

Arkansas became the eighth state Thursday to enact a near-ban on abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy, and by next week it could outlaw most procedures from the 12th week onward, which would give it the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

The Republican-led Senate voted 19-14 along party lines to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a bill barring most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy that was based on the disputed notion that a fetus can feel pain by that point. The Arkansas House voted to override the veto Wednesday. A simple majority was needed in each chamber.

That law, which took effect immediately but which will likely be challenged in court, includes exemptions for ****, incest and the life of the mother.

Senate President Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, voted to override the veto, but later told reporters he wasn't sure the new law would survive a constitutional challenge.

"If it was an easy answer, then people wouldn't be raising that subject," he said after the vote.

After overriding the veto, the Senate voted 26-8 in support of a separate measure that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 12th week of pregnancy. In addition to the exemptions for ****, incest and the mother's life, it would allow abortions when lethal fetal conditions are detected.

The proposed 12-week ban, which would ban abortions from the point when a fetus' heartbeat can generally be detected through an abdominal ultrasound, would give Arkansas the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

"This extreme legislation would insert politics into women's personal medical decisions, and we urge Governor Beebe to veto it immediately," Richards said.

Beebe declined to say whether he'd veto the 12-week ban, and has until next week to decide. Unlike the 20-week ban, which took effect immediately, the 12-week restriction if enacted would take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. The Legislature is not expected to adjourn this year's session until March or April.

The governor has said he thinks it's on even shakier legal ground than the 20-week ban, which he believes contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion until a fetus can viably survive outside of the womb, which is typically at 22 to 24 weeks.

Beebe said Thursday's override did nothing to allay his concerns about the new abortion restrictions, including the amount of money the state will have to spend defending them. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office on Thursday estimated that the $118,000 the state paid in attorneys' fees to challengers who were successful in overturning a 1997 late-term abortion ban would equal about $163,000 today when adjusted for inflation.

"Nothing's changed from the standpoint of what I think the problem with the bill is," Beebe told reporters. "It's still the same problem it was before they overrode the veto."

Rita Sklar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said she was disappointed with the Senate's override and said her group is considering suing.

"We are going to do everything within our power to protect the health and reproductive decision-making abilities of women and in this case that includes looking very carefully at litigation," she said.

Democrats who previously voted for the 20-week ban but against the override said they did so out of deference to Beebe and the concerns he raised over the measure's constitutionality.

"The budget's tight. We're working on giving businesses and individuals some tax relief. I don't think it makes sense to spend money on expensive litigation," said Sen. Larry Teague, D-Nashville, who is a co-chairman of the budget committee.

The 20-week near-ban is based on the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain by then and therefore deserves protection from abortion. Those who support fetal pain bills say there is evidence that by 20 weeks, fetuses seek to evade stimuli in a way that indicates they are experiencing pain.

But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it knows of no legitimate evidence that shows a fetus can experience pain. It says a fetus' brain begins its final stage of development between the 20th and 40th weeks of pregnancy, and that certain hormones that develop in the final trimester also must be present for it to feel pain. It's not known exactly when those hormones are formed.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks laws affecting women's health, seven other states have enacted similar fetal pain abortion laws. Similar laws in Georgia and Arizona have been blocked pending the outcome of legal challenges.

Mary Spaulding Balch, the director of state legislation for the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, applauded the Arkansas Legislature's vote overriding Beebe's veto.

"Basic compassion for human life demands that this legislation be enacted all over the country," Balch said.
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 02:11:46 pm »

You know babies have heartbeats at 4 weeks in the womb, right?
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 07:29:08 pm »

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/04/17184227-arkansas-governor-vetoes-ban-on-abortions-after-12-weeks?lite=

3/4/13
Arkansas governor vetoes ban on abortions after 12 weeks

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed a controversial bill Monday that would have made abortions illegal after only 12 weeks, calling it "blatantly unconstitutional."

Arkansas already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. after the Republican-led Legislature last week overrode Beebe's veto of a similar bill that set the legal abortion threshold at 20 weeks' gestation. Most states allow abortions until the 22nd to 24th week.

That law took effect immediately. The new measure, which would be the most restrictive in the nation if the Legislature overrides Beebe's veto, wouldn't take effect until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns later this month or in early April.

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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 03:33:31 am »

Arkansas Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto to Pass Nation’s Most Restrictive Abortion Bill

While it does not outlaw all abortion, and babies conceived in **** and incest may still have their heartbeats stopped at the hands of abortionists, legislators in Arkansas have voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that is being considered one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.

Just days after passing a late-term abortion ban, both chambers voted this week to make the Human Heartbeat Protection Act law, overriding the veto of Democratic Governor Mike Beebe. The act prohibits most abortions past twelve weeks, provided that a heartbeat is detected.

The Arkansas Senate voted 20-14 on Tuesday and the House voted 56-33 on Wednesday in favor of the override. Six Democrats joined with the Republican-led legislature in passing the law. Passage required only a majority vote.

“I’m just grateful that this body has continued to stand up for the bills that have passed,” said sponsor Senator Jason Rapert. “The eyes of the entire nation were on the Arkansas House of Representatives today. … Again, if there’s a heartbeat, there’s life, and we’re going to stand up for this law, regardless of who opposes it.”

“If I say that I’m pro-life, at some point I have to do something about what I say I believe,” asserted House sponsor Ann Clemer.

Governor Beebe’s reasoning for vetoing the bill was identical to his statement last week regarding the late-term abortion ban: that it contradicts the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, and that it will likely result in costly legal battles.

“The adoption of blatantly unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our State,” he contended. “It has been suggested that outside groups might represent the State for free in any litigation challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 134, but even if that were to happen, that would only lessen the State’s own litigation costs.”
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The ACLU says that it is already planning to file a challenge in the courts.

Some pro-life organizations also assert that the Human Heartbeat Protection Act is the wrong approach to end abortion, as the law will only be tossed out by judges who find the legislation to be unlawful.

“It’s certainly a statement, but looking at it in terms of legal effect or saving lives, it won’t do that, because regrettably, it will be enjoined by the courts,” said James Bopp Jr., attorney for National Right to Life.

On Wednesday, a federal judge overturned Idaho’s late-term abortion ban, called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibited abortions past 20 weeks.

“The State’s clear disregard of this controlling Supreme Court precedent and its apparent determination to define viability in a manner specifically and repeatedly condemned by the Supreme Court evinces an intent to place an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking non-therapeutic abortions of a nonviable fetus at and after twenty weeks’ gestation,” ruled Judge B. Lynn Winmil, nominated by Bill Clinton.

However, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, states that he is prepared to fight whatever battles are ahead in court.

“Many times over the years, I have had to defend state actions regardless of personal feelings or a likelihood of success,” he said in a written statement following the vote to override Beebe’s veto. “I have been candid with my clients throughout this process, including Gov. Beebe as he decided to veto the act and Sen. Rapert as we prepare for imminent litigation.”

http://christiannews.net/2013/03/08/arkansas-legislature-overrides-governors-veto-to-pass-nations-most-restrictive-abortion-bill/
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 10:30:59 pm »

Why don't they just outlaw abortions...PERIOD?

Seriously, what is Arkansas trying to prove? Just b/c their abortion laws are *the most restrictive* in this country, it means they're the most moral and religiously blessed state in the country?
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 03:54:54 pm »

Judge blocks Arkansas' tough new abortion law
5/17/13
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/17/18323574-judge-blocks-arkansas-tough-new-abortion-law?lite

A federal judge barred Arkansas from implementing one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws Friday, calling it "more than likely unconstitutional."

The law, which the Legislature enacted over Gov. Mike Beebe's veto in March, makes abortions illegal after only 12 weeks of pregnancy. It's scheduled to take effect in August.

At a hearing Friday in Little Rock, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted a temporary injunction sought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which argued that doctors who provide abortions would suffer "irreparable harm."

Wright said the 12-week standard criminalizes some abortions before the generally accepted medical standard of viability for a fetus, which is 24 weeks.

"The Supreme Court has consistently used viability as a standard with respect to any law that regulates abortion," Wright said. "This act defines viability as something viability is not."

Wright didn't rule on the constitutionality of the new law itself, dubbed the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act (.pdf).

But in a clear signal of how she was leaning, she said the 12-week standard criminalizes some abortions before the generally accepted medical standard of viability for a fetus, which is 24 to 28 weeks, while "the Supreme Court has consistently used viability as a standard with respect to any law that regulates abortion."

"This act defines viability as something viability is not," she said.

Josh Mesker, a spokesman for the nonprofit Arkansas Family Council, told NBC News the ruling was "disappointing, but it's not unexpected."

Mesker said the ultimate aim is to get the law before the U.S. Supreme Court, where "we expect to prevail" in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized most abortions across the U.S.

"It's not outside the realm of possibility for the current Supreme Court to readdress Roe v. Wade in a way that leans toward our position," he said.

Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, ridiculed the law as "an extreme example of how lawmakers around the country are trying to limit a woman's ability to make the best decision for herself and her family."

"These laws are designed with one purpose — to eliminate all access to abortion care," Camp said in a statement.

That was a reference to similar anti-abortion measures recently approved in North Dakota, Kansas and Mississippi. The North Dakota law, which was also passed in March, is the toughest in the U.S., banning abortions after only six weeks.

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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 04:11:09 pm »

FYI, Judge Susan Webber Wright is a George HW Bush appointee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Webber_Wright
Recommended by Hammerschimdt,[3] Wright was appointed to both the Eastern District of Arkansas and the Western District of Arkansas by President George H.W. Bush on September 21, 1989, both seats having been vacated by Elsijane Trimble Roy. Wright was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 23, 1990, and received her commission the following day. On December 1, 1990, she was reassigned to serve only on the Eastern District of Arkansas. Wright served as chief judge of that District from 1998 to 2005.
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 02:14:45 pm »

Federal judge strikes down Arkansas early abortion ban
3/15/14
http://news.yahoo.com/federal-judge-strikes-down-arkansas-early-abortion-ban-042320333--finance.html;_ylt=A0SO804joSRT2F4A73pXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ZWhlZ3FzBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkA1NNRTMzOF8x

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday struck down an Arkansas law that would ban most abortions starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive such statutes enacted in the United States, declaring the measure unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that the law "impermissibly infringes a woman's Fourteenth Amendment right to elect to terminate a pregnancy before viability" of the fetus, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Webber had previously barred enforcement of the measure while she reviewed a legal challenge to it brought by two Arkansas abortion providers.

As enacted, the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act would have banned most abortions at or after 12 weeks of pregnancy, if a fetal heartbeat could be detected by standard ultrasound.

Doctors who were found to violate the statute risked having their licenses revoked by the state medical board.

Exemptions were allowed in cases where the pregnancy resulted from **** or incest, if the life of the mother were in danger, or in cases of a gross fetal abnormality that made its survival impossible.

Webber's decision let stand the law's requirement that a woman seeking an abortion first undergo an ultrasound to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the doctors in the lawsuit, applauded Wright's ruling.

"This ban would have inserted politicians into the deeply personal medical decisions of Arkansas women," said Rita Sklar, president of the organization's Arkansas chapter.

State Senator Jason Rapert, the primary sponsor of the measure, said he was "disturbed" by the ruling but added that the outcome "was not unexpected because of the posture of our courts for the last 40 years."

Rapert said he nonetheless was gratified that Wright had let stand "one of the strongest informed consent laws in the nation."

Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, a Democrat, vetoed the law after it was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in March 2013, citing its conflict with Supreme Court doctrine, but his veto was overridden.

The Arkansas attorney general, Dustin McDaniel, who had echoed Beebe's reservations about the bill, said he had not decided whether the state would appeal Wright's decision.

Rapert said he had urged McDaniel to defend the law, and said a national anti-abortion organization had volunteered to undertake the appeal "at no cost to the Arkansas taxpayers" if the attorney general would designate the group as "special counsel."

Alabama lawmakers earlier this month approved similar legislation. North Dakota passed a fetal heartbeat law last year that critics said could effectively ban abortions as early as six weeks after conception, but that measure was blocked by a federal judge in July.

About a dozen states, including Arkansas, have enacted prohibitions on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, though some of those measures have also been enjoined by federal courts.
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