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Arkansas GOP Gov. Called Out For Claiming He Doesn't Agree With Abortion Ban He Signed Into Law

Arkansas GOP Gov. Called Out For Claiming He Doesn't Agree With Abortion Ban He Signed Into Law

Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson was called out for changing his tune on an abortion ban he recently signed into law after he claimed victims of rape and incest should be allowed to have abortions.

Hutchinson's conflicting stance courted controversy after he, during an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," said that he signed the trigger ban in 2019 despite not entirely agreeing with it.

He blamed Arkansas' Republican majority legislature for not including exceptions for rape and incest in the bill's language, which only permits an abortion in the event of a medical emergency.

You can hear what he said in the video below.

Hutchinson said that he believed the two exceptions should have been added and suggested that the law that he signed "could be revisited" in the event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that protects a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.

But this admission was questioned by CNN's Dana Bash, who said:

"You wanted the legislature in Arkansas to put those exceptions in. They didn’t. Your term is almost up."
"What makes you think you can change it? And if you can’t, that means that... 11- and 12-year-olds may be in this situation in a very real way in just a couple of months potentially."

Hutchinson responded with the following:

“Those are heartbreaking circumstances."
"We’re trying to return that authority to the states, and to reduce abortions but, whenever you see real-life circumstances like that, that debate is going to continue and the will of the people may or may not change, but it’s going to come back to the states’ flexibility on that."
“There’s no guarantee of that but the public opinion does matter whenever you come to your elected representatives."

Hutchinson's admission earned him a sharp rebuke from critics who questioned why he'd signed the law despite having reservations about it in the first place.

The likelihood that Roe will fall is high.

Earlier this month, Senate Democrats attempted to codify Roe's protections into law by pushing for a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, but Republicans—with help from Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia—blocked the legislation.