Rapert abortion bill: Still unconstitutional | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rapert abortion bill: Still unconstitutional

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM

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AP is reporting that the Arkansas House is delaying action on Sen. Jason Rapert's unconstitutional bill to ban most abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy.

It's being delayed for amendments, which suggests even the Republican-majority House has a touch of reluctance at directly voting to challenge four decades of federal court precedent that prohibits states from banning abortions before viability of the fetus, about 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Rapert says he's going to further amend the bill to allow abortions for fetal anomalies and medical emergencies and to remove criminal penalties for doctors (they'd be punished with license revocation instead). Here's one filed today by Rep. Ann Clemmer.

The amendments address emotional issues — as when Rapert amended out vaginal probes of unwilling women (though the regular abdominal ultrasound still required is just as medically unnecessary if non-invasive) and with amendments to allow rape and incest exceptions.

But the bill is still unconstitutional. Despite promises to produce legal authorities to support his argument that the bill could pass federal court standards, Rapert has not yet done so.

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