ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — If Governor Asa Hutchinson calls for a special session before the 2023 legislative session, Republican State Senator Jason Rapert plans to introduce legislation making it harder for women to cross state lines to get an abortion.
The proposed legislation would not directly impact pregnant women, but rather, the companies that help them cross state lines to terminate their pregnancy.
“We believe that the state of Arkansas has an interest in these companies that are trying to come out here and undermine the will of the people to save human lives,” Rapert said.
When it comes to enforcing this legislation— the responsibility would fall on citizens.
“Somebody that sees that could file suit against them in a civil court in the state of Arkansas and say, No, you’re not going to do that,” Rapert said.
Democratic State Senator Greg Leding is against the legislation and believes asking citizens to make that choice is wrong.
“You’re pitting neighbor against neighbor, and having people rat each other out is just absolutely unacceptable,” Leding said.
Leding voiced his upset following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
“It’s even more maddening and quite chilling that there are lawmakers who are determined to prevent 53% of our state’s population from crossing state lines to get the healthcare that they need,” Leding said.
Instead, he wants more abortion rights for women.
“I think one of the things we would like to do, at the very minimum, are add exceptions for rape and incest to the 2019 law that was triggered by the Supreme Court ruling,” Leding said.
While abortion legislation decisions now lie with the state, Rapert is hoping for Congress to act further.
“I personally would love to see a constitutional amendment, much like the Arkansas constitution said years ago, that we want to protect life from the moment of conception,” Rapert said.