LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has overridden Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of legislation banning most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy.
The law took effect immediately after the Republican-led Senate voted 19-14 on Thursday to override the Democratic governor's veto. The state House voted to override the veto Wednesday. A simple majority was required in each chamber.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has vowed to challenge the new law, which is based on the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Similar laws passed in other states are facing court challenges.
Beebe says he thinks the new law contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court's 1976 Roe v. Wade decision and will be struck down. He says the state will waste money trying to defend it.
COMPLETE COVERAGEBills to restrict abortions pass Ark. House (Feb. 4)Ark. Senate passes 20 week abortion ban (Feb. 13)20 week abortion bill heads to governor's desk (Feb. 21)Beebe vetoes 20 week abortion bill (Feb. 26)House votes to override governor's veto (Feb. 27)Ark. Senate overrides veto on abortion bill (Feb. 28)Roll call from veto vote in Ark. Senate (Feb. 28)Beebe: Override doesn't change concerns about abortion ban (Feb. 28)Override of Beebe's veto may open state to litigation (March 4)Many unsure who would police 20 week abortion ban (March 5)