- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Ark. lawmakers enact fetal-pain abortion law by overriding Democratic governor’s veto
Arkansas lawmakers Thursday enacted an anti-abortion bill that is the first of its kind to reach a governor’s desk — and that detractors called “the most extreme” ban in the nation.
The bill, known as the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, would ban most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation if a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Lawmakers sent it to Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, for his signature.
Mr. Beebe did not immediately say what he would do about the “heartbeat” bill. However, in a veto message he sent earlier in the week on another bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, the governor cited concerns about that bill’s constitutionality and costs to the state if it were forced to defend legislation that was inherently flawed.
The Center for Reproductive Rights called the 12-week abortion bill “the most extreme abortion ban in the country” and promised to “fight this unconstitutional law if enacted.”
Also Thursday, the Arkansas General Assembly voted to override Mr. Beebe’s veto of the 20-week abortion ban, called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Upon the legislative votes, the law went into immediate effect.
The National Right to Life Committee praised the lawmakers for enacting the “pain-capable” abortion ban.
“Unborn children jerk away from painful stimuli, their stress hormones increase, and they require anesthesia before any fetal surgery,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, who tracks state legislation for the pro-life committee. The law will protect unborn children who are capable “of feeling pain from the violence of abortion,” she said.
Arkansas is now the eighth state to have passed such “fetal-pain” bills, although laws in Arizona and Georgia are being challenged in court.
The pro-life movement is divided on the “heartbeat” bills.
Many pro-life supporters believe “heartbeat” bills will force an end to abortion because, in the words of one leader, “it’s hard to be against a bill that says that once a baby’s heart is beating, you shouldn’t take his life.”
Other pro-life supporters fear that such measures will not survive constitutional challenges and hand the anti-abortion movement a serious setback in the courts.
The Arkansas “heartbeat” bill says that any woman seeking an abortion at gestation of 12 weeks or later must undergo an examination to detect a fetal heartbeat.
If a fetal heartbeat is heard, the abortion will be prohibited except in cases of rape or incest, to preserve the life of the mother, or in the case of a “highly lethal fetal disorder.”
A “heartbeat” bill failed in Ohio last year.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor. Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- With new HIV research, FDA may let gay men donate blood
- HHS report shows a decrease in blood supply but also a drop in demand
- Little change in practice for China's one-child family policy
- Gay-marriage momentum comes to a sudden halt after Illinois
Latest Blog Entries
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
- House votes to reject Obama welfare shift
- Report: Two out of three Democrats support gay marriage
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Young and healthy millennials create risky imbalance by shunning Obamacare
- Obama: Growing income inequality 'defining challenge' of this generation
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.