Arkansas Lawmakers Back Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bill

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Arkansas Lawmakers Back Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bill


Overriding a veto by Arkansas' Democratic governor, the state's Republican-controlled House and Senate approved a bill to ban abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, the most restrictive such law in the country, CNN reports. Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed the bill Monday, saying it "blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court," but on Wednesday, the Arkansas House voted 56-33 to override the veto, following a 20-14 override vote a day earlier in the state Senate. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU of Arkansas promised to mount a legal challenge in federal court, while supporters said they were prepared to fight back. Called the "Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act," the bill requires testing to determine "whether the fetus that the pregnant woman is carrying possesses a detectable heartbeat." Abortions would be banned if a heartbeat is detected and the unborn baby "is under 12 weeks or greater gestation."

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