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Senate voting on abortion coverage ban

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 7, 2013 at 9:29 a.m.

— The Arkansas Senate is to consider legislation to ban insurers participating in an exchange created under the federal health care law from covering abortions.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill to ban abortion coverage in the exchange, with exemptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The House has already passed the bill and it will go to Gov. Mike Beebe if approved by the Senate.

The bill would allow abortion coverage through supplemental policies — an option that opponents say is not currently available in Arkansas.

Opponents say the measure would prevent women from purchasing with their own money insurance coverage in the exchange that would cover abortions.

The bill is one of several new abortion restrictions Arkansas lawmakers are considering.

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