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Non-voting senators say they backed override

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 28, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.

— Two Republican senators who didn’t participate in a veto override vote on a bill banning most abortions past 20 weeks of a pregnancy say they supported the override.

Sens. Jason Rapert of Conway and Jake Files of Fort Smith didn’t participate in Thursday’s vote overriding Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto.

The Senate was successful in its override attempt by a 19-14 vote. The override needed 18 votes to pass, and senators voted along party lines.

Not participating has the same effect as a no vote. Rapert, who is the sponsor of another bill restricting abortions, says he was unable to make it to the Senate floor in time for the vote but that he supported the override.

Files said afterward that he sent a letter indicating his support of the override.

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