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Senate panel approves 20-week abortion ban

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published February 13, 2013 at 7:07 a.m. Updated February 13, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

— A Senate panel has advanced legislation banning most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into a pregnancy after the lawmaker proposing the ban added exemptions for rape and incest.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Wednesday approved by a voice vote the new abortion restrictions proposed by Republican Rep. Andy Mayberry of Hensley. The measure had already included exemptions for the life of the mother, but Mayberry added rape and incest after facing resistance to his original proposal from Democrats on the committee last week.

Opponents of the measure say it doesn't include a wide enough exemption for the health of the mother or for lethal fetal anomalies. The measure now heads to the Senate for a vote.

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