“We are very excited for this law,” said Vikki Parker, executive director of A Woman’s Place Pregnancy Center in Cabot, Ark. “It’s going to save a lot of babies” — and “a lot of women.”
Pro-choice organizations pledged to challenge the “extreme” law in court.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Arkansas legislature voted to impose the most restrictive ban on safe and legal abortion in the country,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the legislature now has “the shameful distinction of passing the worst impediment to women’s reproductive health in decades.”
State lawmakers have turned their backs on the women of Arkansas, said Rita Sklar, executive director of ACLU of Arkansas. “We will fight this law in court to ensure that politicians cannot deny women the ability to make their own decisions about their own health.”
While “heartbeat” bills have been attempted in other states, this is the first one to be enacted.
“I know that the eyes of the nation were on the Arkansas House of Representatives today, and what you see happening is that people are waking up,” Mr. Rapert said.
With 53 million abortions since 1973, “we have had a very irrational policy on abortion in our nation. … I am asking us to have a conscience and to wake up to this issue, and I believe this [law] is a great step in that direction.”
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Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
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