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Ark. Senate Advances 20-Week Abortion Ban

Ark. Senate Advances 20-Week Abortion Ban, House Panel Rejects Fetal Heartbeat Bill

February 19, 2013 — The Arkansas Senate on Monday voted 25-7 to approve a bill (HB 1037) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Reuters reports. The House previously approved the measure. Currently, abortion is illegal after 25 weeks in Arkansas, according to Reuters (Parker, Reuters, 2/18).

Before a Senate committee vote last week, the bill's sponsor -- state Rep. Andy Mayberry (R) -- added exceptions in cases of rape and incest, which helped convince an additional senator on the panel to support it (Goins, KARK/Ozarks First, 2/14).

The measure now returns to the House for consideration of the changes.

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has not indicated whether he would sign the bill (Reuters, 2/18).