World News

Arkansas Adopts Most Restrictive Abortion Law in US

Lawmakers in the southern U.S. state of Arkansas have adopted the country's most restrictive state ban on abortion, making the medical procedure illegal after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The law passed Wednesday by a wide margin in the state's Republican-controlled House, over the veto of Democratic Governor Mike Beebe. The state Senate voted to override the veto on Tuesday.

Arkansas' new law overrides limits established and upheld in the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which give a woman the right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb -- a development that normally occurs about 24 weeks into pregnancy. Several other states have enacted abortion bans after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

State abortion proponents say they will immediately file a lawsuit to overturn the new legislation.



In a statement Tuesday, Governor Beebe said the override "blatantly contradicts" the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in the landmark 1973 ruling known as Roe versus Wade. He also warned that the state will waste money trying to defend the new legislation.

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