LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says his office's preliminary research suggests a proposal to ban most abortions in the state is unconstitutional but isn't ready to say whether he opposes the legislation.
Beebe said Monday his office is still researching the legality of the proposal to ban most abortions if a heartbeat is detected but said the early research suggests it would have constitutional problems. The Senate last week approved the measure, which would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Beebe said his office is also researching the legality of 2 other abortion measures. One would ban abortions at 20 weeks into a pregnancy and the other would ban insurers in the exchange created under the federal health care law from covering abortions.COMPLETE COVERAGEArk. lawmaker proposes new abortion restriction (Jan. 28)Ark. Senate passes measure to ban most abortions (Jan. 31)Ark. Gov. suggests abortion bill unconstitutional (Feb. 4)Ark. lawmakers delay vote on 12 week abortion bill (Feb. 12)Changed abortion bill fails Ark. House panel vote (Feb. 14)Ark. panel approves 12 week abortion ban (Feb. 19)Poll: 3/5 of Ark. voters support proposed abortion ban at 12 weeks (Feb. 21)Ark. Senate panel advances 12 week abortion ban (Feb. 27)Ark. Senate approves 12 week abortion ban (Feb. 28)Beebe vetoes 12 week abortion ban (March 4)Override of Beebe's veto may open state to litigation (March 4)State Senate overrides Gov. Beebe's veto on 12 week abortion bill (March 5)House overrides Beebe's veto; 12 week abortion bill now law (March 6)Ark. GOP lawmaker says machine didn't record vote (March 7)