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Beebe vetoes 20-week abortion bill

Posted: February 26, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

FILE - Gov. Mike Beebe talks to the media in November 2012.

Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed House Bill 1037, which would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, would have banned abortions at 20 weeks except for cases of rape, incest, to save the mother's life or prevent catastrophic injury to the mother's health or bodily functions.

Beebe said in his veto letter he opposed the bill because, "it would impose a ban on a woman’s right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion before viability," and it "would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent."

"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," Beebe wrote in the letter.

Mayberry based the bill on the disputed idea that 20 weeks is the point at which a fetus is capable of feeling pain.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Friday that the bill would have a small affect on abortions in Arkansas, as the Arkansas Department of Health said 48 of the 4,033 abortions that took place in Arkansas in 2011 were performed at or after 20 weeks.

The bill arrived on Beebe's desk after it passed the House on Thursday in a 80-10 vote with no debate. The article said the 10 "no" votes were Democrats, and nine House members who did not vote were also Democrats.

Beebe told reporters that he respected Mayberry's "class" in dealing with the veto. Beebe said Mayberry did present other arguments, but in the end Beebe could not sign the bill, because it was "unconstitutional."

Lawmakers can override Beebe's veto with a simple majority. Republicans have majorities in both the state House and Senate.

"Hopefully [the veto] sends the right message, and they won't override it," Beebe said.

Another abortion bill, Senate Bill 134, is awaiting final consideration from the Senate before appearing on Beebe's desk, after it was passed by the House, 68-20, on Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, would ban abortions after 12 weeks if a fetal heartbeat is detected. The bill would require any woman considering abortion after 12 weeks to receive an abdominal ultrasound to determine whether there is a heartbeat.

The bill includes exemptions for cases of rape, incest or when the fetus is not likely to survive long after birth.

Beebe said Rapert's bill was "more problematic," but would not confirm that he would veto the legislation.

"They need to vote up or down to take whatever stance they need to take," Beebe said. "I'll do what I feel I need to do when it hits my desk.

"It would be kind of naive for me not to acknowledge to you, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to do on a bill that's even more problematic than the one I already vetoed, but I won't tell you officially until that time."

Opponents of both bills say they violate federal court precedent on how states can restrict abortion, and the American Civil Liberties Union has said it is prepared to take action against the legislation.

Bettina Brownstein, an attorney with the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU, says challenging the 20-week ban might have taken a while, but action would be taken immediately against Rapert's 12-week ban if it becomes law.

Read more in Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Beebe vetoes 20-week abortion bill

Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed on Tuesday a bill that would have banned most abortions in Arkansas after 20 weeks of gestation. (By Lee Hogan)
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GOOD

Posted by: MartinBalsam

February 26, 2013 at 3:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Good for a number of reasons, among them that the bill doesn't allow for various medical contingencies and that it would undoubtedly draw a lawsuit that would cost our state hundreds of thousands that we need for other purposes.

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The veto will be overidden.

Posted by: Moneymyst

February 26, 2013 at 4:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I think they should post a picture of a 20 week old baby. I hope it is overridden.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 26, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Thank you Governor!

Posted by: Dexter

February 26, 2013 at 5:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Don't you mean a 20-week fetus?
That is a confusing statement. What do you call a baby that was born 20 weeks previously?

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 5:13 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

U.S. Constitution =1
Ideological idiots = 0

Posted by: cdawg

February 26, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What's in a name, Coralie? A baby by any other name is still a baby. Look at a 20 week old fetus and see what YOU see.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 26, 2013 at 7:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Does no one in the Ledge hold a law degree anymore? Or listen to anyone who does?

Way to go, Arkansas. Elect idiots to enact laws which cannot withstand Constitutional scrutiny, yet all the while complain about waste in government.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

February 26, 2013 at 7:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Money,

RE-

"The veto will be overidden."

Yes it will, and with a 80-10 vote, it was hardly a partisan measure.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 26, 2013 at 7:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Nobody ever said that stupidity and waste was a partisan issue. There's plenty of both to go around on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

February 26, 2013 at 7:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Plenty in our state disagree with you, PrivateTurd.

Posted by: Tankersley101

February 26, 2013 at 8:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Love them fetuses more than good sense and even money, don't we . . . ?

Posted by: CaptainQuint

February 26, 2013 at 9:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "A baby by any other name is still a baby."
And a fetus by any other name is still a fetus. A baby, by definition, has been born. A baby is also on his own from then on, as far as "pro-life" conservatives are concerned, because for the most part these conservatives are actually "pro-birth".

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 26, 2013 at 10:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Soon the wonderful world of science will be able to take the womb out of a women, put it on life support, feed the baby with a tube, talk to it and love on it from one day on, when its developed enough, hold it in your arms and breast feed it.No transition called birth. Put the womb back in and go on. When then, was the baby a baby. When it first pooped? "Hold everything, boys, don't kill that child, it just pooped yellow s..t in my face!

Posted by: Moneymyst

February 26, 2013 at 11:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Soon the wonderful world of science will be able to take the womb out of a women...."
Perhaps, and at such time as medical science significantly changes the natural balance between the mother and the fetus, and the balance of power among the mother, the fetus and the doctor, it might well be worth revisiting the issue.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 26, 2013 at 11:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Private Buck, are you, Private Turd? Go ahead, admit it, you were a draft dodger and your real name is Canada Hot Butt.

Posted by: Moneymyst

February 26, 2013 at 11:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

And if the state legislature overrides Beebe will they personally foot the bills trying to defend this law? Kinda funny that people who bemoan wasteful spending are getting ready to cost the state millions in court fees.

Posted by: lwyman

February 27, 2013 at 2:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

It's true lwyman. Nine other states have tried identical moves. Three states' cases are pending, a polite term for getting their legislative enactments overturned at a later date.

Yes, state senator King reported tonight that veto override draft was being prepared. I sure wish these legislators had to personally foot the bills that are about to run up.

From the governor's news release:

"... 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. 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.

Second, the adoption of unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our State. It has been suggested that outside groups or others might represent the State for free in any litigation challenging the constitutionality of House Bill 1037, but even if that were to happen, that would only lessen the State’s own litigation costs. Lawsuits challenging unconstitutional laws also result in the losing party - in this case, the State - having to pay the costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by the litigants who successfully challenge the law."

http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/...

Posted by: cdawg

February 27, 2013 at 3:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mycent, these people ignore the facts to promote their agenda. They are not going to let a "Picture" change that. Just like the Kitty here "Perhaps, and at such time as medical science significantly changes the natural balance between the mother and the fetus, and the balance of power among the mother, the fetus and the doctor, it might well be worth revisiting the issue." Thinks medical science is the God of the human race. Doesn't understand babies where conceived and born thousands of years before medical science. And kitty to head of your simple mind. Yes, I know medical science is great and has and is doing great things. Also has saved the lives of thousands of babies that would not have survived before medical science existed. But that does not change the Fact the you started growing at conception and no matter what you were called at the various stages of development you were still a Human Being. Some people's brain is still in various stages of development. Can we call it something besides a "Brain" until it is fully developed?

Posted by: woodw

February 27, 2013 at 8:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

All they are thinking of is the money. Money is the driving factor in everything anymore, and it dosen't matter if you need to get it by lying, cheating, stealing, and even murder - anything goes for the god of money.

When all it takes is a litle effort to prevent a pregnancy.

Posted by: mycentworth

February 27, 2013 at 9:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Thank you Governer Beebe! Not only are you doing the right thing for women, you are saving our state from a very expensive and damaging lawsuit.

Abortion is woman's issue, not a man's. When men can get pregnant, men can have the right to choose...for themselves. Not for their neighbors, friends, or foes. Only for themselves.

I know quite a few people who have gotten pregnant while using contraceptives, including the pill, foam, and condoms. It is much easier to get pregnant, for some women, than it is to prevent pregnancy. One of my nieces just got pregnant while using contraceptives.

Posted by: SPA

February 27, 2013 at 10:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"When all it takes is a litle effort to prevent a pregnancy."
Harder, though, for young folk who have an "abstinence only" education.
And some in the anti-legal abortion camp are against contraceptives too.

Posted by: Coralie

February 27, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

While the bill that Beebe vetoed did make exceptions for mother's catastrophic health problems, it did not make exception for catastrophic health problems in the fetus.

Posted by: Coralie

February 27, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Woo: "They are not going to let a "Picture" change that.">>

A picture is not an argument. Sometimes when people can't put a good argument together for why an embryo (not a person) should have rights that are greater than a mother (is a person), they try to gross people out with pictures of medical procedures that are unfamiliar to people who aren't surgeons. It's not effective for people who need to have good reasons for doing something as drastic as overriding the right of a woman to control her own body. The fact that a surgery or surgical procedure is messy or gross, is not a good reason.

And then, we have the old standby. Just assume your conclusion:

Woo: "you started growing at conception...">>

Actually, your earlier components started growing before that. It's a continuum.

Woo: "no matter what you were called at the various stages of development you were still a Human Being.">>

Nope. Question begging, the oldest fallacy in the book. At what stage a womb rider becomes a person, or a human being, is the question. You can't just assume your conclusion is true.

Of course you *can,* since everyone else on your team seems to do it too. But if you want to be taken seriously (and that doesn't seem likely at this point), then you will want to avoid so blatantly assuming that which you are trying to show, that is, begging the question.

Woo: "Some people's brain is still in various stages of development.">>

I think you inadvertently make a very good point.

D.
---------------
"Begging the question (Latin petitio principii, "assuming the initial point") is a type of informal fallacy in which an implicit premise would directly entail the conclusion. Begging the question is one of the classic informal fallacies in Aristotle's Prior Analytics."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_...

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 27, 2013 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Thinks medical science is the God of the human race."
Not at all. You should reread my post, and Moneymyst's post preceding it. I was responding to a specific prediction made by Moneymyst, which, if it came to pass, would possibly necessitate a review of the precepts underlying laws regarding abortion (as well as parenthood, custody, medical liability and other related legal concerns). Our laws evolve as our understanding changes.

Do you ever read the posts you respond to, or do you just put your gut to work on them without bothering?

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 27, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medical science has changed. Like DNA saving people on death row, it presents new information in a new light.

I believe this is why they did it. The Pro-Life crowd wants this before the Supreme Court again so they can "define life" using new science.

Posted by: SFret

February 27, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>Thinks medical science is the God of the human race.

Put your god of the heavens to a test.
When in the event you have a malignant tumor just hold a Bible over it and pray.

Sane people will opt for a medical scientist because having such a person will mean life or death.

Save your god of heavens for politics.

Posted by: cdawg

February 27, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Already orveridden. dumb liberials.

Posted by: Moneymyst

February 27, 2013 at 9:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RE "Already orveridden. dumb liberials."
Liberals? This is evidence of dumb conservatives-- but I repeat myself. On the other hand, so did they.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 27, 2013 at 10:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

One thing have learned in my Old Age. You Cannot Fix "Stupid"

Posted by: woodw

February 28, 2013 at 9:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Stupid is as stupid does."---Forest Gump

Posted by: Moneymyst

February 28, 2013 at 9:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"Private Turd." That's the best you can come up with?

I'm disappointed in the state of our military; perhaps the sequester is a good thing, after all. I'd have hoped that Obama's Air Force would've taught its cowardly wannabe war criminals to do more than call names. (Besides flying remotely controlled aircraft and killing people without due process of law or any personal risk, that is . . . .)

And hey - thanks for your service.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

March 1, 2013 at 3:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

"cowardly"

Oh, that hurts. So are you running down the new legislation or are you here to run your keyboard some more?

The next time I'm home on leave we can have lunch togethor and go over the finer points of why you are calling me a coward/war criminal wannabe if you want. You aren't talking to some booth restricted remote operator that resides in the desert in Nevada, jack.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: Tankersley101

March 2, 2013 at 12:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I don't claim that Tank doesn't suffer some deprivation and hardship as a result of his service. I only suspect that he's never actually held a weapon with its muzzle pressed to an adversary's forehead and had to take the personal decision of whether or not to squeeze.

My only problem with folk like Tank and their duty is that, while perhaps necessary today, they only serve to dehumanize our world. They take away from the glory and honor of war, and reduce it to mere fodder for political/economic discourse on cable TV.

I'll buy your lunch, Tank; hell, I'll buy the drinks, too. Young man, you can tell me about your travails piloting UAVs in a combat zone, and what that feels like. You can then discuss the aspects of deciding whether to kill someone who's within arm's reach with a man who has experience in the matter. It'll be educational for both of us.

Or, if you'd prefer, we can skip lunch and play video games.

Again, thanks for your service.

Posted by: CaptainQuint

March 3, 2013 at 1 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Buck,

First the 3rd or 4th time, I am not a UAV operator. I am a JTAC... and yes I have been in firefights with real weapons. I have more time in the combat zone than you can imagine. I have called in airstrikes from UAVs, yes. But that doesn't make me a UAV operator.

I generally don't use wikipedia as personal rule. But here you go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_te...

I question the sincerity and credentials of anybody that talks about the "glory and honor of war." If you ever wanna talk it over in a more permissive environment, we can talk in more detail.

Posted by: Tankersley101

March 3, 2013 at 8:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )