Arkansas Senate Approves 20-Week Abortion Ban

LITTLE ROCK — 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.

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