Arkansas Senate Panel Approves Jason Rapert's Heartbeat Abortion Restriction

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 11:53 am  

Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, told reporters he was reviewing the legislation and hadn't decided whether he would sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

"I think you've got to talk to a whole lot of legal folks to see what's legal, what complies with federal law and what doesn't, so we'll just wait and see on that," Beebe said.

The proposal is one of several new restrictions that abortion opponents plan to push in the Legislature, after an election last year that handed Republicans control of the state House and Senate. A day earlier, the House Public Health Committee rejected a proposal to ban abortions from being covered under the health insurance exchanges created through the federal health care law. The sponsor of that bill said he planned to bring it back before the committee.

The same House panel planned Thursday to consider legislation that would ban abortions at 20 weeks. Rapert said the two measures would complement each other since the 20-week ban does not include exemptions for rape or incest.

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