The Arkansas Senate has passed a bill banning abortion at 20 weeks based on the disproven claim that a fetus can feel pain in the second trimester. The bill will go back through the House for a vote on an amendment before a final stop at the governor’s office, where Gov. Mike Beebe will choose whether or not to veto.
House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman told reporters he is fairly confident the bill will be signed into law. “Governor Beebe has expressed varying levels of opposition to these pieces of legislation, but he’s never gone as far as threatening a veto. I personally believe the governor would like to avoid vetoing legislation based on his prior service in the legislature,” according to KARK.com.
The 20-week ban was proposed by Rep. Andy Mayberry, a staunch anti-choice politician, who recently spoke at the state’s 40 Days for Life rally about how laws won’t end abortion. “We have laws against murder and people still murder. We have laws against stealing and people still steal. The way we stop abortion, the way we put an end to abortion is by changing the hearts and minds of those who believe it is okay.”
Meanwhile, the state’s attempt to ban abortion at the point at which a heartbeat can be detected passed out of House committee on a voice vote. Previously it had been stalled in the House over disagreements on whether it was restrictive enough or not. It was then sent back to panel when Democrats objected that their request for a roll call vote was denied. The bill then passed the committee 9 to 11. Two Democrats joined the Republicans for the final vote in favor.