“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?
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