Arkansas Senate Votes to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

by Steven Ertelt

After the state House voted for the same bill earlier this month, the state Senate voted today to ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the science showing unborn children feel pain at that point.

The Senate approved the pro-life measure on a 25-7 vote Monday after tacking on an amendment that would allow such abortions in cases of rape or incest in addition to the one the bill already contained that excepted the life of the mother.

Gov. Mike Beebe has said he has constitutional concerns about the proposal though he has not indicated yet if he will sign or veto the measure.

The measure would make the Natural State the eighth state to enact such a 20-week abortion ban on the basis of substantial medical evidence that demonstrates that unborn children are capable of feeling pain at least from 20 weeks from fertilization.

Beebe said he’s still looking at the House-backed restrictions but that his office’s research suggests the “heartbeat” bill is unconstitutional. Opponents say it will invite lawsuits.

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