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An Arkansas bill that passed the state House on Monday would protect unborn babies from abortion after 18 weeks.
Lawmakers passed the bill overwhelmingly in a 77-13 vote, the AP reports. The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Arkansas House Bill 1439, or the Cherish Act, is sponsored by state Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Jason Rapert. It would challenge the current U.S. Supreme Court precedent that prohibits states from passing abortion restrictions prior to viability.
Utah is considering a similar bill this winter.
The vote comes just a week after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed another pro-life bill into law. The Human Life Protection Act (Arkansas Senate Bill 149) will protect unborn babies by banning all abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned. The legislation is necessary because the infamous abortion case crippled states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion. Some hope that the new U.S. Supreme Court justices will overturn the ruling, but even if they do, abortions will remain legal in many states. The Arkansas law will make it one of at least five states that would immediately protect unborn babies once the case is overturned.
The Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.