Strictest abortion law in U.S. passed in Arkansas
Arkansas legislators approved the nation's most restrictive abortion law on Wednesday, overriding a veto by the state's Democratic governor, who said the legislation was “blatantly unconstitutional.”
Senate Bill 134, known as the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, bans abortions involving fetuses with heartbeats that are 12 weeks or older, excluding medical emergencies, and mandates an ultrasound for expecting mothers before they attempt an abortion.
The state's House of Representatives followed the Senate in voting to override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto.
“I'm just grateful that this body has continued to stand up for the bills that have passed. The eyes of the entire nation were on the Arkansas House of Representatives today,” state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican from Conway, said after the vote.
In vetoing the bill Monday, Beebe said, “Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”
Shortly after lawmakers trumped Beebe's veto, the ACLU of Arkansas said on Facebook, “We'll see them in court.”
The bill defines viability not as sustainable life outside the womb — the standard set down by the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, which doctors say comes no sooner than 23 weeks — but as when a fetus first has a heartbeat, which occurs much sooner.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities
- Plane slams into pilot training center at Kansas airport, killing 4
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Ebola virus could overwhelm health care system, AP finds
- At least 4 dead after plane crashes at Kansas airport
- D.C. closer to legalizing sale of pot
- Museum saves part of bomber plant
- Hawaii’s National Guard sent to lava flow site
- Wash. shooting survivor has jaw surgery