LITTLE ROCK (AP) - An Arkansas lawmaker has proposed banning abortion if doctors detect a fetal heartbeat, a move that would ban the procedure as early as six weeks.
Republican Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway on Monday filed legislation that would require doctors to test for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. Rapert's proposal would ban abortions if doctors detect a heartbeat.
The bill includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Similar proposals have come up in other states, but have faced complaints that it would violate the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.
Rapert's measure is sponsored by 19 of the Senate's 35 members.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)