Beebe saying his reasons for issuing the veto should sound familiar.
Governor Mike Beebe says banning abortion after twelve weeks blatantly contradicts the U.S. constitution, so he issued his second veto in six days on abortion measures.
SB134 bans abortions once a "fetal heartbeat" can be detected, but allows exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother.
But like the 20-week abortion ban, which is now law in Arkansas, the 12-week ban pushes abortion limits much sooner than the 24-week viability standard set by Roe v Wade 40 years ago.
"Constitutional is constitutional. Honestly if you're asking the question is the court moving, is science moving, some have made the argument that if it is moving, 20 weeks comes closer to being acceptable to the court than 12 weeks," Beebe says. "I don't know. I know right now, under the current state of the law the bill is unconstitutional."
Rapert thinks his bill can withstand a constitutional challenge and plans to move forward with a veto override Tuesday.
"He didn't have to sign the bill," Rapert says. "He literally could have allowed the bill to become law without his signature. But for whatever reason the governor feels he needs to veto these prolife bills."
Beebe says he doesn't plan to suggest to anyone how to vote this time either.
"They got to do what they got to do, I didn't reach out last time," Beebe says.
Beebe's veto letter included the following section:
In short, because it would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability, Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. 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.
The adoption of blatantly unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our State. It has been suggested that outside groups might represent the State for free in any litigation challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 134, 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 - being ordered to pay the costs and attorneys' fees incurred by the litigants who successfully challenge the law. Those costs and fees can be significant. In the last case in which the constitutionality of an Arkansas abortion statute was challenged, Little Rock Family Planning Services v. Jegley, the State was ordered to pay the prevailing plaintiffs and their attorneys nearly $119,000 for work in the trial court, and an additional $28,900 for work on the State's unsuccessful appeal. Those fee awards were entered in 1999, and litigation fees and costs have increased extensively since then. The taxpayers' exposure, should Senate Bill 134 become law, will likely be significantly greater.