An unborn baby at 20 weeks (Source)
A great American and hero in the Arkansas State Legislature, Rep. Andy Mayberry, of Hensley, introduced into the Arkansas State Legislature, “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” HB 1037, which became law in Arkansas on February 28, 2013.
This new law in part would ban abortions at 20 weeks, the point at which the bill claims a fetus is capable of feeling pain. Nevertheless, this bill did not become law without opposition from Arkansas’ Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, who vetoed this bill on Tuesday, February 26th, claiming that this bill was contrary to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, and further justifying his decision because he didn’t want the state of Arkansas to pay the cost of defending this measure.
The bill had been passed by the Republican legislature garnering the support of many Democrats. However, yesterday, February 27th, the House voted 53-28 to reaffirm the bill, and today, February 28th, the Senate voted 19-14 to reaffirm the bill, and combined, these overrode Beebe’s veto, making the bill, law, thus satisfying the simple majority vote requirement in both chambers.
Unfortunately, this law provides exceptions in cases of rape, incest and pregnancies that endanger the mother’s life or could cause irreversible physical impairments; but, it does not provide for any exemption for fetal disorders or abnormalities. I believe that babies are babies no matter what the situation of their conception and that how that pregnancy came about still does not affect the fact that the baby is a child, a live infant person, who is guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under the United States Constitution.
However, it is still a great victory for Life against the abortion industry/mill. Rep. Mayberry told the Associated Press that this law was patterned after the law in the State of Nebraska which has not been challenged as yet, further citing justification as a result of the advancements in pre-natal science which provide new evidence and definitions of “viability”.
The States of Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama have also enacted the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and/or similar legislation protecting the unborn. Rep. Mayberry speaking on the House Floor Wednesday, called HB1037 “a bill that saves babies’ lives. These are babies who are capable of feeling pain. The methods used to abort those pregnancies are excruciatingly painful.”
Additionally, another bill is still pending entitled, “The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act,” SB 134, introduced by another great American hero, Arkansas Republican Senator Jason Rapert, from Conway, which has also garnered support in the Republican-majority legislature which most probably will be presented to the Governor in the very near future. If this bill becomes law, it would ban abortions once a heartbeat was detected, requiring a woman seeking an abortion at 12 weeks of gestation or later to undergo an abdominal ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat, and it would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, but adds an exception in the case of a fetal anomaly that would not allow the child to live after birth. More information will be provided on this bill and our prayers are warranted for its passage as well.
Finally, Governor Beebe did sign into law last Tuesday, February 26th, the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” which insures that a pregnant woman and her unborn child are protected from unlawful criminal violence and that a woman’s decision to carry her child to term be respected. According to Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. and President & CEO of Americans United for Life, “A pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause,” and that “criminal investigations across the nation demonstrate that husbands or boyfriends are oftentimes perpetrators of pregnancy-associated violence and that this violence is often intended to end or jeopardize the pregnancy.” Dr. Yoest further provides that “Studies have shown that violence and abuse are often higher during pregnancy than during any period in a woman’s lifetime.”
Accordingly, we should appreciate these victories! I am praying that the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act becomes law as well!