Arkansas Senate approves 12-week abortion ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has given final approval to a bill banning most abortions in the state 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

By a 26-8 vote Thursday, the Republican-led Senate approved the 12-week ban and sent it to Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe's desk. Beebe has called the proposal unconstitutional, but has not said whether he'll veto the measure.

The proposal originally would have prohibited abortions as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy, but it was amended to change that timeline and to add more exemptions after facing objections in the House.

The ban includes exemptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother and lethal fetal conditions. Doctors who violate the prohibition would have their licenses revoked by the state Medical Board.

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)