Senate panel looks at 12-week abortion ban

Posted: February 27, 2013 at 7:14 a.m.

— A Senate panel is taking up a proposal to ban most abortions in Arkansas 12 weeks into a pregnancy, a day after Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed a less stringent ban on the procedure.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Wednesday is expected to consider the revised version of Republican Sen. Jason Rapert’s 12-week ban. Rapert’s bill would ban abortions at 12 weeks if a heartbeat is detected using an abdominal ultrasound.

The Senate approved an earlier version of Rapert’s bill that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks. It passed the House after Rapert made several changes.

Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have banned most abortions 20 weeks into a pregnancy. He cited concerns about that measure’s constitutionality.