Beebe says he will OK abortion coverage ban

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe says he will sign into a law legislation that would ban coverage of most abortions in a health insurance exchange.

The Senate, on a 25-9 vote Thursday, gave final approval to a bill that would ban abortion coverage in an insurance exchange being created under a new federal health care law.

Beebe said after the vote that he believes the measure merely restates existing law on whether public money can be used for abortions. Opponents argued the bill prevents women from spending their own money for the insurance coverage.

The coverage ban includes exemptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The bill also allows abortion coverage through supplemental policies - but the bill's opponents say that option is not available in Arkansas.

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