LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas "trigger law" that was signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2019 will go into effect soon after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision.
The landmark decision has ended nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion and roughly half the states are expected to ban the procedure.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was on the constitutionality of Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Under the trigger law, Arkansas will ban all abortions except to save the life of the pregnant woman. There is no exception for rape or incest.
If an abortion is performed in the state by someone, it will be considered a felony with a $100,000 fine or at least 10 years in prison. The law will not charge or convict a woman with any criminal offense if the abortion is performed.
In order for the trigger law to go into effect, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will have to certify that the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade.
In May, Rutledge indicated she will certify that decision and allow the ban of abortions in Arkansas.
A 2021 poll showed that 38% of Arkansans supported making abortion more difficult to get while 28% wanted no change. Only 26% of Arkansans wanted abortions to be illegal "under any circumstances" while over 50% said it depends on the circumstances.