Posted in: Politics

‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill Wins Support Of Arkansas Lawmakers

Heartbeat abortion bill clears Arkansas Senate

“Heartbeat” abortion bill supporters in the Arkansas Senate won a victory for pro-life advocates on Monday, February 18.

The victory came by way of a 25-7 vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill, championed by Arkansas Republican Jason Rapert, would allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger as a result of bringing the pregnancy to term.

Early versions of the bill would have made an abortion provider, who violated the terms of the law, guilty of a Class D felony and subject to civil penalties. NWA Online reported on Tuesday the criminal penalty stipulation has been removed.

Known officially as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill is expected to clear the Republican-controlled House as early as this week.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has not stated whether he will veto the bill should it clear the House.

The rationale of Rapert and other heartbeat abortion bill supporters is that the fetus feels pain after 20 weeks, though some evidence suggests it could be as early as 18 weeks and as late as 29 weeks, according to Discovery News.

Arkansas is not alone in its effort to enact abortion bans. Nebraska was the first to do so, and Kansas recently passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill to date.

Alabama Republican lawmaker Mary Sue McClurkin has also enacted her own form of legislation that would call for more abortion restrictions based on the idea the baby is the body’s largest organ.

Do you agree with this growing anti-abortion trend, or is it a violation of constitutional liberties?

[Image via ShutterStock]

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7 Responses to “‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill Wins Support Of Arkansas Lawmakers”

  1. Heather Johnson

    I was going to be upset by this bill. But 20 weeks is ample time to decide to terminate. Babies as young as 23 weeks have been born and lived.

  2. Kim LaCapria

    I think we are all kicking the can down the road with abortion if we don't admit viability is an issue that did not exist even 10 years ago the way it does now. Like it or hate it, it is an issue, and one that needs to be discussed openly and honestly. And I have gotten flamed by pro-choicers on this one.

  3. Heather Johnson

    Limiting abortion is not the same as banning abortion. Saying you have to decide by week 4 is obviously not long enough. But 42 weeks would be too long. 20 weeks feels like a nice compromise to me, even though I am politically pro-choice.

  4. Kim LaCapria

    Heather Johnson I agree. I understand the political implications of limiting abortion, but I do also thing there needs to be a moral line where we can say, okay, it is unfortunate you may not have known or had access, but unless someone's life is in danger we can't do this. Many people don't like the phrase "safe, legal and rare" but with proper funding and less obstruction, it can be a reality.