February 28th, 2013. Arkansas Senate Overrides Veto on Abortion Bill. Arkansas News Bureau.
“A day after the House overrode Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks, the Senate followed suit Thursday, then swiftly passed an even stricter ban.
In a 19-14 vote, the Senate voided Beebe’s veto of House Bill 1037, then voted 19-14 to give final legislative approval to Senate Bill 134, which would prohibit most abortions after 12 weeks.
With the Senate action, the 20-abortion ban became effective immediately, giving Arkansas one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation — unless SB 134 becomes law.
Beebe has said both measures are constitutionally suspect, the second even more so than the first, but SB 134 also passed both chamber of the Legislature by a veto-proof margin and appeared likely to become law with or without the governor’s signature.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to challenge the measures in court.
HB 1037, by Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, bans abortions at 20 weeks, the point at which the bill claims a fetus is capable of feeling pain. It includes exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that endanger the mother’s life or could cause irreversible physical impairment.
SB 134, by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, would require a woman seeking an abortion at 12 weeks of gestation or later to undergo an abdominal ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat, and it would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, except in cases of rape, incest or fetal anomalies that would not allow the child to live after birth, or if the life of the mother is endangered.
A violation of the measure would cost a doctor his or her medical license.”