Arkansas lawmaker: ‘We are not eliminating choice at all’ with 12-week abortion ban

By David Edwards
Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:59 EDT
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Arkansas state Rep. Ann Clemmer
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Republican state Rep. Ann Clemmer on Wednesday explained that Arkansas lawmakers were “not eliminating choice at all” by overriding Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban.

“I really believe that we are not eliminating choice at all,” Clemmer told KUAR. “We’re just saying after 12 weeks, the choice is over. You have a choice for the first 12 weeks. That’s almost three months. We’re talking the second trimester here — we’re talking about second trimester abortions.”

Benton also insisted to the public radio station that her bill, which is the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, would not jeopardize women’s health.

“I don’t think that having an abortion aids a woman’s health,” she said. “I don’t know under what circumstances having an abortion aids a woman’s health because this bill deals with women who have serious health issues, this bill deals with babies who have lethal fetal disorders and it deals with rape and incest.”

The Arkansas House on Wednesday overrode Beebe’s veto by a vote of 56 to 33. The state Senate have voted to override it just one day earlier.

Before the vote, Clemmer argued that Republicans should support the abortion ban because state law declared “a 12-week-old baby in utero a person … [whose] life is to be protected not only from a third party, but from a mother herself.”

A federal judge on Wednesday found for the first time that a 20-week abortion ban in Idaho was unconstitutional because it put “an absolute obstacle” the the path of women seeking abortions.

Watch this video from KUAR, broadcast March 6, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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