Arkansas Senate overrides governor’s veto on 20-week abortion ban


A win for human dignity, and a step in the right direction.


The Arkansas Senate voted today to override Governor Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill outlawing most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. The Arkansas House and Senate had both voted to approve the legislation and, after the veto, needed just a majority vote to override the veto. The House voted to override the veto yesterday, and now the Senate has voted the same way. Fox News reports:

The Republican-led Senate voted 19-14 along party lines to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the 20-week bill, a day after the GOP-led state House voted to override it. A simple majority was required in each chamber

That law, which took effect immediately, is based on the contested claim that fetuses can feel pain by that point.

… Minutes after overriding Beebe’s veto, the Senate’s voted 26-8 in support of a bill that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 12th week of pregnancy, sending it to Beebe for consideration. He must decide by next week whether to sign or veto it.

Seven other states have passed similar laws protecting babies from being aborted after 20 weeks (or after 12 weeks, should the other measure pass), when they are capable of feeling pain. Doctors who violate the law, performing abortions after 20 weeks, will have their licenses revoked. If the 12-week heartbeat bill passes, Arkansas will have the strictest abortion laws in the country.

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