Will Arkansas become ground zero in the fight to end legal abortion in the U.S.?
Since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, pro-life voters have hoped for a change in abortion laws. And since the president has appointed three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, those hopes have risen even higher.
But the court can't just arbitrarily reverse Roe v. Wade, which prohibited states from unilaterally banning abortion. No, the justices need a case that would give a majority that opportunity.
Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, and state Rep. Mary Bentley, R-Perryville, filed a bill this week that would prohibit all abortions in the state. The only exception would be to save the mother's life.
If passed, the ban will certainly be challenged in court. And it will most likely be struck down.
But everyone involved expects that. What's important is the bill travels a path to the nation's highest court.
As the conservative Christian group Family Council's President Jerry Cox said in a statement supporting the proposed legislation, the bill "will give the U.S. Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. Family Council fully supports the passage of this good law. This is an opportunity for Arkansas to be a real leader in the effort to end abortion in America."
Few court observers believe the justices — even those appointed by President Trump — will actually overturn Roe v. Wade, though they may allow further state restrictions. But you never know.