After Veto, Arkansas Tries to Save 12-Week Abortion Ban

Override attempt begins in state Senate today
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2013 7:26 AM CST
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is interviewed in a hallway at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, March 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

(Newser) – Last week, Arkansas' governor vetoed a ban on abortions after the 20-week mark; the state legislature overrode the veto. Now, Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed a bill that would ban abortions after just 12 weeks—and once again, lawmakers will today try to override the Democrat's veto; success would make it the toughest abortion ban in the US. All that's needed is a simple majority in both chambers of the legislature, where Republicans hold 21 of 35 Senate seats and 51 of 100 House seats, the AP notes.

"Because it would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability, Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court," Beebe said of the 12-week measure. Roe v. Wade says abortion is legal until a baby can survive outside its mother, which doctors say typically occurs 24 weeks into a pregnancy. The American Civil Liberties Union says the 12-week ban is "the most extreme abortion ban in the country," and it plans to sue if the measure passes. (Read more Arkansas stories.)

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