LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has passed legislation that would ban most abortions 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
The Senate approved the new restriction by a 25-7 vote Monday, sending the measure back to House to consider an amendment that added exemptions for rape and incest. The measure already included exemptions for the life of the mother, but the other exceptions were added to win support from some Democrats.
The legislation is based on the disputed notion that fetuses can feel pain 20 weeks into a pregnancy, and is similar to bans approved in several other states. Opponents say it would require mothers to deliver babies with fatal conditions.
Gov. Mike Beebe has said he has constitutional concerns about the proposal but has not said whether he'll veto 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)