Arkansas governor vetoes anti-choice bill.

Here’s a happy story out of Arkansas.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a ban on most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into a pregnancy, setting up an override fight with a Republican-controlled Legislature that has been pushing for more restrictions on the procedure.

Beebe said he vetoed the ban, which is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, because it runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until the point where fetuses can survive outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks. The Republican sponsor of the measure said he’ll seek to override Beebe’s veto.

“Because it would impose a ban on a woman’s right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion before viability, House Bill 1037, if it became law, would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent,” Beebe said in his veto letter. “When I was sworn in as governor I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend both the Arkansas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath seriously.”

Well-stated and well-played.  If only the GOP had as much respect for the Constitution they claim to love more than everybody else.  And if only the GOP had the financial sense not to piss away money on a court case they’re doomed to lose.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon

    How is there a Democratic Governor in Arkansas??

    • iknklast

      I don’t know for sure about Arkansas, but Oklahoma has a long tradition of voting Democrat (because of the racism of the Democrats during the Civil War) that occasionally bleeds over into electing a Democrat for governor. Their last Democratic governor, in fact, was elected when a bill banning cock-fighting was on the ballot, because all the people in the southeastern portion of the state (near Arkansas) who hadn’t voted in years came out to vote against the bill. Most of them had a long history of support for the Dixiecrats, so they just voted Democrat, bringing a Democrat back to the Oklahoma governorship. The bill passed anyway. (a judge threw it out on the grounds that the majority of the people voting for it were in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and not in the rural areas; which would make sense, since that’s where a majority of the population is. What a weird state I come from).

      As for Arkansas, well, it’s right next to Oklahoma, so who knows what might happen? (By the way, interesting note about Arkansas: when I give my students map tests, it’s the second most missed state, with only New Jersey being less familiar to the students. I have no clue why.)

    • Tobias27

      Ever hear of Bill Clinton ??

  • Reginald Selkirk

    which is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks

    But gunshots cause pain, yet many in the GOP favor the right to own guns.

  • J*

    And the override passes both the house and the senate. :-/

    • Glodson

      What GOP War on Women?