The US state of Arkansas on Tuesday passed a law banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest, in a move supporters hope to skip the Supreme Court against overthrowing their 1973 landmark that protects abortion rights across the country.
The only exception to the Arkansas law is “to save the mother’s life in a medical emergency,” said Asa Hutchinson, the governor of the southern state known for her Christian conservatism.
Hutchinson said he signed the law because of his “sincere and long-standing belief in life” and added that “it is the law’s intention to set the stage for the Supreme Court that interferes with current case law.”
The Arkansas law will not come into force until the summer, and the powerful ACLU civic organization has already announced that it will challenge it in court.
Abortion divides the American people, with strong opposition especially among evangelical Christians.
In recent years, several states in the south and center of the country have increased restrictive abortion laws, forcing many clinics to close their doors.
The appointment of then-President Donald Trump by Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court in October locked up a 6 to 3 Conservative majority in court and raised the possibility of toppling Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion rights ruling.
If it overturns, individual states could lay down abortion rules.
Trump became a strong opponent of abortion when he tried to gather evangelical Christians behind his failed re-election campaign.