A sad day for Jason Rapert, who's luxuriating in attention over his leadership of the war on women's medical rights. The North Dakota governor today signed legislation putting an even earlier and more comprehensive limit on abortion — as soon as a fetal hearbeat can be detected, around six weeks. North Dakota has also banned abortions performed on account of genetic defects, among other anti-abortion measures.
This should put North Dakota rather than Arkansas more at the center of the debate, but I'm betting Rapert will still manage to reap plenty of public exposure. The North Dakota bill is essentially the same thing he originally proposed here, but watered down to a ban on abortions after 12 weeks when some got uneasy over the fact that vaginal probes would be necessary to detect fetal heartbeats at the earliest stages of pregnancy.
Of course, there are always other avenues for publicity. Arkansas is pushing personhood down to the zygote stage in several areas of the law; it could always try to outlaw the in vitro fertilization program at UAMS as contrary to personhood, given, as the anti-choice movement likes to put it, the murders of babies that sometimes occur in the process. Or, life doesn't just begin at conception. It begins with the sperm and the egg. Maybe there's something in the masturbation restriction realm that the Fiddlin' senator could work up.