The line is open | Arkansas Blog

The line is open

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Enjoy the thaw. There's increasing chatter on weather websites of another big snow in Arkansas mid-week.

Elsewhere, not much to report. I do hope cooler Democratic heads will get together and begin framing the issue in which Republicans are trying to cram cruel anti-abortion legislation through the Arkansas legislature. They could begin by saying 1) how cold do you have to be to describe as a "poison pill" the amendment to Republican legislation to protect existing private health insurance coverage of abortion, including morning-after pills; 2) how cold do you have to be to say coverage of rape and incest and health of a pregnant woman is a "poison pill"; 3) how legally unaware or dishonest do you have to be to cover up the fact that courts say federal law pre-empts the Arkansas Constitution, no matter how badly the anti-choice crowd would like to restrict the medical autonomy of pregnant women.

To Gov. Mike Beebe's credit, he's done some useful explanation on the issue, as the Tolbert Report noted while otherwise following the Republican party line. Beebe on the Bledsoe bill:

What her bill actually does is restrict it in all cases except the life of the mother. There are a whole lot of folks that believe, including me, that rape and incest always would be something that would be more appropriate to be included in that. In other words, if you were the victim of rape or you were the victim of incest or if the health danger was bad enough, truly a health danger, then that is a circumstance under which any reasonable person might seek an abortion. Whether or not they amend it to include the rape and incest provisions, I wish they would do that. I think rape and incest would be appropriate inclusion in that.

Yes.

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